Other than my personal issues with distracting and sarcastic thoughts, the class was quite nice. The session was the second in a series on mediation, which was perfect since, hey! I'm trying to learn how to meditate real good. The way the classes at this particular meditation center go are as follows: guided 20 minute meditation, talk, short closing meditation. To start, we did an easy breathing meditation like I discussed briefly the other day. It's a very simple(but not always easy) "beginner" meditation where you try to hold your focus on your breath for the duration of the meditation.
We then went into a discussion about why it's important to learn how to meditate/practice Buddhism and not simply agree with the ideas. Ideas like, everyone has great potential. You can't just say, "yes" and be done with it. You need to think about what that actually means, You need to get inspired and most importantly, you need to practice. He pointed out how ridiculous it is that our culture doesn't automatically assume that you need to spend time maintaining your mind. We do all these things everyday to maintain our bodies, but most people don't take any time to work on their minds.
Another thing he said that I really enjoyed was in relation to self-medicating. He said we all do it all the time. We get home and sit down and then immediately we need to start doing something, have some kind of distraction because the second we sit alone with ourselves we begin to suffer. It's like we truly believe that suffering is the default state, the reality. But what if it's not?
He pointed out that we seem to believe our brain affects our mind, but that our mind does not affect out brain. For example, if we can get our brain chemistry right, then our mind will be right. But this is only a temporary fix, this does not fix the real problem, it just gets rid of the symptoms for a short period of time, often with side effects. This isn't to say that pills aren't helpful. If you can take a pill to relieve your symptoms and get you to a calm state, so that you can carry out your life and your practices than that's great, but the point is, you still need to practice. Practice being happy. There is no "quick fix" out there. It's easy to be depressed or stuck in a state of suffering because we have so much practice doing it because again, we believe that's reality. If we can practice being happy then it will get easier and easier to be happy. Happiness can become our reality. Then nothing can touch us, no matter the situation.
Anyway, I'm just paraphrasing some of the thoughts that I personally took away from today's class. I'd love to hear what you have to say on these topics, if anything. If not, I hope you at least find them as comforting and inspiring as I do.
Yes, I know, he really needs a haircut.
Here are my highs:
- think the food poisoning has officially left the building (aka my body)
- got to do a lot of things done today
- my dog is playing with a PBR can (he's so hip)
- speaking of PBR saw a funny sign at the grocery store that read; "hipsters fall in love with PBR again, cases on sale"
- listened to an awesome episode of The Moth tonight on NYC Public Radio