We’re laughing at you (signed, the hindrances….)

Here’s the lovely book I talked about in our group today; relating to how the word “defilement” was originally used as a translation of the Pali word and then “hindrance” was adopted, but neither really work.

If you read this, you’ll see that we have to recognize and embrace what may seem unappealing to us:

Along the same lines of questioning what our teachers tell us, or really investigating what the Buddha was teaching, here’s this interesting article titled: The Myth of the Present Moment:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12671-014-0333-z

 

When is craving a hindrance?

That’s a funny question, isn’t it? Your Buddhist teachers and books often imply that the hindrances are something to get rid of, but maybe we need to allow the hindrances to turn up so we can investigate them.

Remember what Rumi said in “The Guest House”: This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes. as an unexpected visitor.

Take a look at Jason Siff’s suggestions for working with craving, aversion and the rest of our visitors:

http://recollectiveawareness.org/2017/11/fundamental-truths-within-mental-processes/

 

The many shades of sadness…and boredom

I tried to express the many ways we can describe our meditative experiences. I’m not sure I got it across, but I did like this piece on the color spectrum of moods. I want to encourage you, as you recall your meditation (not during, which can be distracting or interfering) to see if you can describe the experience in your own words rather than the way your teacher or a book may describe the experience. Also, when we use a very general term, like boredom, to describe a mood or state of mind or a meditation, can we tease out something more specific that may be hiding behind that generic, blah word?

Beyond the Blues: Poet Mary Ruefle’s Stunning Color Spectrum of Sadnesses

 

Tell me more!

Today I haven’t got any articles or poems to read nor charming videos to watch. I have been thinking about meditation and how we practice it. As you probably know by now, I am a proponent of a much more open, gentle, and instruction-free type of meditation practice. That includes continuing to use any meditation technique you feel comfortable with, and I am always willing to help guide you.

This meditation group started almost 3 years ago (in July!) and I would really like to get an idea as to where you are with your practice. What do you want from your meditation? You may think that if you don’t have some impressive-sounding insight to report, nothing is happening. Others may think that if they don’t achieve a peaceful calm state, they aren’t meditating properly. Needless to say, neither of those ideas are true!

I would like to talk to you individually so we can look at your practice and see how you might want to explore from there. (This is mainly directed at my Sunday morning group although others who have been in my classes are welcome to contact me) Please get in touch with me during the next few weeks and we can make a phone or Zoom appointment.

By the way, here’s a very brief set of instructions from Jason, for the meditation and the journaling. Just see what you think. You definitely don’t have to do this and we can talk about your practice any way you wish.  If it appeals, however, give it a try:

Looking on the bright side

I think of myself as a bit of a curmudgeon, and not given to Pollyanna-ish thinking. But, if I hadn’t watched John Krasinski’s charming “Some Good News” episode 2, which is unabashedly sunny, I would have missed an amazing final 6 minutes.

Which brings me once again to attitude. https://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/the-secret-formula-for-resilience

I believe that there is an innate human trait that enables us to rise above the traumas that life presents. Maybe it is just recognizing that it is possible to change our perspective. In my case, I can enjoy being curmudgeony, but maybe right now is the time to put that a little on hold and dance to the music even if we have to push ourselves a little.