I’m a lapsed Buddhist. Or perhaps more accurately a part lapsed, neo Buddhist as my previous forays way back in my yoof were perhaps best described as a typical pick-and-mix exercise when really I was just there for the meditation exercises and Buddhist philosophy was an interesting contemplation but I was young and swayed by aims, desires and those false horizons that seem to beckon those starting out on life’s journey. Certainly accepting the impermanence of life is a tough one at a young age before you’ve even really experienced some of that life journey.
I slouch. Therefore I am. Surely?
Anyway I’m back exploring Buddhism at a local but probably little known Buddhist centre and am lucky enough to be receiving some initial one to one tuition from the head monk. Today we did posture and various health issues make this a much harder proposition than the nubile healthy individual of the past.
I Pity Inanimate Objects (Thankyou Godley & Creme)
So far I’ve learned to be respectful to inanimate objects (as well as the animate ones of course) and the use of a single ascending counting number on each out breath during meditation. This is an exercise in being mindful where any stray thought sees us restart the counting of each outward breath from one to ten.
Counting Coloured Numbers
It doesn’t help that each number appears as a differently coloured image in my mind. A big blue number one. A bold red two etc. Either my brain loves a synaesthetic trigger or I’m worried about mindfulness suppressing my playful creativity.
Age now values mindfulness (or heartfulness as it should be referred to, the former really a mistranslation that hasn’t been corrected in the west I’m told) as an added help in an imperfect body with pain issues.
There’s also talk of the middle way quite often which is hard for me to take as that’s a term tainted by its use by Tony Blair.
Oh and being told not to just accept things I’m being told is pretty radical. A dogma free zone is always a good start to any philosophy course.