Lessons from today’s meditation

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Today I had a pleasure of being taught meditation again in a Buddhist Monastery. I love the variety of monks that take sessions. Each one is very individual with unique personalities and I can’t help but smile most of the time I am there. There’s this sweet calmness about the place that is really relaxing. It also feels authentic rather than constructed or forced. It is there naturally. Simplistic and clean environment is so inviting and conducive to a practice of meditation.

Today’s lesson was to be curious, wonder about your mind and allow it to be whatever it wants to be. Another aspect is to recognise it as a part of you, hence being self-loving means not judging your own thoughts but let them be. Everything is impermanent. Thoughts come and go and we don’t need to attach ourselves to any of them. We are observing and being curious about our mind’s nature.

I really understood this today and it opened my eyes to a possibility of actually being able to implement this into my practice and my life on a wider scale. I do think Buddhist meditation is a very intelligent system at regulating our thoughts and emotional responses. I am curious to know more on outside and within. Today was all about getting to know our minds through being inwardly aware.

What I observed was that my mind is often very obliging. One might say it is trying too hard and there’s a lot of energy spent, often unnecessary, on creating thought patterns that are not needed. It also gets confused by its own ‘trying hard’ and runs away with it, so to speak. It felt amazing to be able to obtain that information through meditation.

I also observed that I do well in meditation and succeed in calming my mind when focusing on an object (It was caramel cake today. No idea why) or a word (again it was cake) and repeating it over and over. Image and word today were spontaneous, but I imagine it can also easily be chosen specifically for a meditation. I also realised that I do best with guidance rather than on my own, i.e. guiding meditations help me.

I am yet to master the right posture and position when meditating. I am too uncomfortable but when I am not focusing on my legs or engage with thinning about how uncomfortable it feels I am able to sit still and be calm. That is a good demonstration of how it IS possible not to get attached to a thought that a mind is trying to focus on and as a result to remain calm.

I also noticed quite clearly how my mind naturally wants to grab onto negative thoughts rather than positive. That was great to realise and I feel I might sort of understand a way of changing that too going forward with a lot more practice. It does explain my nature very well and wanting to attach to something positive naturally is going to take some time. Once I try that the aim is not to attach to any forms of thought and simply remain in curious observation.

I am thrilled to be able to continue with my learning in such a beautiful and peaceful place.

Frozen. Mindful healing in nature 

 
Frozen in the Earth plane consciousness has been my state since yesterday.

Whenever we come up against obstacles and limitations in our daily reality our mind comes forward with thought processes that are not helpful. It manifests in a way of blocking some feelings and often awakening fear and anger.

This morning all I wanted to do was to hide in bed and not see the light of day. I had no feeling in the body and no  sense of smell. My breath was hardly noticeable and I couldn’t  cry. I was frozen.

I forced myself to go for a walk into my woods. Forcing is unusual for me, but here it felt necessary. I noticed as I walked that I had no desire to get in touch with anything around me. I  didn’t want to reach out and touch tree branches or leaves, as I would do normally. I also couldn’t smell anything literally. In terms of vision all I saw was the path in front of me and I said to myself ‘the same old, the same old’. I heard birds singing, but it didn’t reach my senses, had no effect on me. My spirit was saddened, I felt deeply lost, abandoned and empty.

In the moment I decided to surrender to nature and ask it to do to me whatever needed doing. I was seeking mindful awakening. I sat down on a fallen tree and waited. I was set on letting the elements do to me what they would.

For a while I was very still and frozen, nothing happened. My sadness spread within yet no tears came and I decided to walk. I took off my hat and this was something I always did in the woods. My crown chakra and my hair and ears needed to be uncovered. I couldn’t hear or receive much otherwise. When I reached water things began to shift.

I realised that in order for me to ‘unfreeze’ all elements needed to be present around me in order to tap into internal elements. I noticed the Sun giving a comforting glow to my aura through the branches. Woods around me spoke to me of home and belonging,  air renewed my breath, water encouraged movement and flow and the whole forest projected unconditional love towards my being.

I gasped for air and filled my lungs and instantly energised I began to pick up pace and walked with more confidence. I now heard birds around reassuring me about the right path I was on. I started to feel my legs stronger underneath me and I became more aware of my physical body.

Birds flew about their business communicating with one another and I wondered what their life was like. The birdsong was divine in nature and they were forever present in its flow engaging it whenever they needed.

Another tool that is helpful when needing to reawaken senses is getting out of breath. Yes, makes sense, right. One of the reasons exercise is recommended for low mood amongst other complaints. I climbed a hill and got out of breath and instantly felt alive and energetic again within my body. I began to touch trees as I walked, connecting.

Trees have buzzing energy to me like stones do, but softer, flesher due to their connection to the earth. I feel their roots deep in the warm muddy womb.

I was called to expand and kept on walking covering a wider area of the woods.
Tree – standing tall, be flexible release tension I leaned against its reassuring posture. It has access to all, moist earth, clean air, water at all times from above or below and the sun glow of fire. How lucky I think. In parallel we also have access to all elements whenever we need it. The difference is that trees don’t question it, they are just in whatever is present unlike humans who fight and freeze and blow and fly away in all our defences. Nature mirrors back the perfect unity of just being.

As I stood against a tree I became aware of the scent in the air, it penetrated me. My breath deepened and as it usually did my awareness sharpened to all things around me. Feeling returned to my legs and I felt strong once again. My walk also awakened nice memories of spring in Oxford with air so fresh and cherry blossoms everywhere. I also remembered a day out by the sea with my boys in Brighton. Sea air and walking on the beach scattered with beautiful stones and shells.

I become curious whether it was a certain place that my memories were asking me to revisit, or was it simply memories coming alive as reminders of my life experiences.

Feeling much stronger, focused and aware of all my senses I walked back home. Ice melted, feeling returned and balance was restored.