Thursday, September 16, 2010

Getting my Ohm on island style

Today is meditation day.
Today I will drive down a long and winding dirt road in West Tisbury, shared with beach goers searching for the perfect wave at Long Point, and turn off to a simple shingled building housing the Bodhi Path Buddhist Center.

I will take my shoes off just outside the door, step barefoot onto a glistening wood floor, leave my cares and worries behind, and enter into calm and bliss - if just for the moment.

picture by Bodhi Path Centers
Today Lama Yeshe Drolma (seasonal lama in residence) will again instruct us on how to be present in the now, calm the mind, concentrate on our breathing, and let the small child chatter rise up and float away, leaving a mind ready to do its work - gain insight and clarity in this busy give-and-take world of ours.

I like this center - it's easy going (you can sit on chairs instead of that infernal lotus position, which in my present condition would never do). There's no pressure to perform or jump ethereal hoops. And for the time, I can be the essence of me - a child of a most high God (you do not have to be Buddhist to attend or practice - they accept modern-day practitioners), pure and good and willing to be of service to all beings without putting myself or others in harm's way. 

The main meditation practice is shamatha - calm abiding meditation. Letting ourselves be here peacefully.

But our mind isn't always calm, peaceful or abiding is it? It might be irritated, angry, jealous, worried. How do we get to peace? We begin. We take focus on our breathing by counting the in and out breaths. We let our squirrelly thought float up, recognize it as a thought, and let it go.

And then it happens. We experience the quiet. No drifting, no thinking about a zillion things. We hear the crickets or the plane or feel the warm sun coming in the window. Before we couldn't keep our mind focused on anything long enough. Now we can keep it in peace long enough to recognize and value our surroundings.

This is not just the point of being Buddhist. It's the point of being a human.

Think about it.

No wait, don't.

There, you have it! :)

Have a good one.

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