Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Funday

Today was my first time visiting the Brooklyn branch of the meditation center I attend. Overall it was a great experience. Since this was my first visit I confess I was distracted by being in a new environment and listening to a new teacher, who by the way, looked a LOT like Mel Gibson and had crazy blue eyes. I had also come straight from spin class and was a tad late. It took a minute for me to go from crazy cardio workout mode to clam mediation mode.

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

1 comment:

  1. Oh yeah, much easier to practice negativity. I was reading "The Power" last night (it's the follow up to "The Secret" and yes, I know, cheesy, for the masses, whatever. They're both decent books. Helpful even.) and Rhonda Byrne wrote, "Most people think and talk about what they don't love *more* than they think and talk about what they love. They give out more negativity than love, and in doing so they are inadvertently depriving themselves of all the good things in life."

    Basically, "You get back what you put out there." Which is something that I really need to work on, because I put so much negativity out into the universe and, lo and behold, I get a lot of it back.

    The place that this is most apparent is in my kiddo. When I was coming home from work every day bitching, and when Ella was coming home from the hospital every day bitching and Bruce was doing whatever (working from home or working from work) and bitching, Georgia would come home from daycare everyday and just talk about the things that went wrong. Never about the good stuff. And she was THREE! Shit, man. I looked at that and wasall "something has got to fucking change, and fast, because my kid is learning this crap?" and of course, the one thing in my life that I have the power to change is... me. Duh. So yeah. Immediately jumped on that. And it is a DEEPLY ingrained habit. And it's so second nature to me, that I have a hard time catching myself at it. Ah, self awareness.

    I have been blessed to have some exceedingly positive things in my life, but given my attitudes, that's definitely been the exception, not the rule.