I wish I could take notes during my Buddhist meditation group. But I kind of feel that defeats half the object. =P If a thought leaves, I need to let it go and not worry over it.
If I could have conversations like we did in Thursday’s circle, every day. I’d get frustrated that I couldn’t remember every word, but I’d also have that purpose to strive. We talked for the full hour and the session actually over-ran.
We discussed why our emotions take over, even when in our head; we know not to act in ways, our heart can take over. Some would say this causes suffering.
Last week we discussed “What is your life aim?” and how to really focus on it. An interesting point was made about “And Then?”. Say someone says their life aim is to help people they love… Once they’ve done that, what should they do? And on and on this conversation goes, taking one deeper into knowing their own mind. To broaden and reach beyond the first few views.
Thursday, we also discussed cause and effect. I asked what was meant by “compounded”. I’m not sure if this was the one used, but Buddhists appear to use this to suggest nothing is without it’s cause or effect. Plants – give animals food and could not be without the rain.. rain helps crops grow but couldn’t be without clouds.. etc.
We’ve also discussed enlightenment and such things as compassion and patience. How we can have no self but strive to reach these things. With out limited language, we came to the conclusion that each is a verb, not a noun. You’re not a compassionate person, but act with compassion. Each act is separate of your self. (or no self, as a self may not exist).
In this manner, enlightenment is a verb, not a state your reach, but an act you can exist in consistently.
Similarly, I learned of the view of Sangha. This, according to members of my group, is a form of spiritual community. I guess that’s what I get coming to the group at all. I can question and talk through perspectives, I can explain my views and express myself.
I also noticed I actually listened more this week. I learn better when I ask questions – it helps the processing, but I find myself talking a lot more than I wish I did in times of Sangha. (I think that’s what it’s called). I only learnt of the term today. It means spiritual community, where one is free to discuss and be understood. =)
Privacy,, I’m continually trying to reshape myself, and every now and a gain I find that joy of the everyday. I’ll be cooking in the kitchen and suddenly think of a herb to add which I can… sense? Will work with the food. I walk toward lectures and notice a particular butterfly, and as I follow it’s path in front of me and you, notice a tiny patch of blue sky peeking through the entire sky of grey cloud. Or my notice is drawn to a bright plant. Authentic “this is right” moments.
Then, Thursday night I was feeling restless, so went to sit on the swings. The stars are so beautiful. With the three rabbits frolicking and the plough and waxing moon shining down on me as I flew, everything was okay again. I was free. And very almost myself.
In all this searching I’ve discovered that there are aspects of all these paths that feel so right. The compassion and relaxation of Buddhism, the Moon Goddess and God side of Wicca; the Sun and Earth connections of Druidry.
Today, Marie and I went to the Weald. It’s a famous part of the Sussex Downs about a 45 minute walk from Sussex University Campus. We took a picnic and had many butterflies travel with us on both the way and the way back. We made wreaths out of goosegrass, saw painted ladies, house martins, a greenfinch and we think a red admiral butterfly.
We chatted about self sufficiency, Scottish druids, Buddhism, farms and kids and it was nice to sit and do nothing for a couple of hours. With exams in less than two weeks, I’m starting to find my symptoms of panic. My throats closing a bit and I’m not sleeping well; dreams are almost painful to experience.
Wish me luck 🙂