Monday, 28 November 2011

Buddhism, Change & Meditation

I have long thought that both sides of my brain are equally balanced and before there's a collective pouncing on that statement I mean I am an emotional person but I am also quite logical. This has always proved quite useful in my work insofar as I can connect with other people's emotions and then bring a level of reassurance in the form of logic. 

My world view in this respect is not unusual. I try to live my life without doing harm to others and helping where I can. I have trained in Reiki and EFT but at the same time I always feel rather surprised that they work. I am interested in the esoteric and the spiritual but I also find the idea of them quite challenging and disturbing.

I was christened into The Church of England and attended a Methodist Church as a Girl Guide. When I was at school, religion was part of the curriculum and every day we had assembly where scripture was read and hymns were sung and every week we had at least one period of RE. I was never bored by it. In fact when I reached a certain age there was a definite frisson connected with all the begetting in the Old Testament! When I went to University years later it stood me in good stead when studying since much of English Literature has its roots in the Bible. But I digress!

The religion/philosophy I am most interested in is Buddhism. The reasons are it highlights the power of the mind, individual and collective responsibility, that nothing is fixed, that change is possible and meditation is a cornerstone of self realisation  I remember going for classes in meditation years ago. I loved the act itself and I was intrigued by the chats after but I was spooked by what I saw at the time as a cultish threat. I am sorry and somewhat ashamed to say for that reason I stopped going and yet some of the things I learned have stayed with me. One of my most powerful remembrances is the ripple effect of small changes. We the course member were asked to make one small change in our lives to see what the outcome would be. My choice was to do with driving. 

At that time I used to work as a Practice Counsellor in Rotherham. So several times a week I would travel down the local bypass to the motorway. I usually arrived at work frazzled and it would take some deep breathes and a cup of green tea to restore my equilibrium. The reason I was so frazzled would be that I would be fighting hard with the other motorists making sure I didn't get cut up or give an inch. So the change I made was to let other motorists in and to drop back. The results were amazing. Instead of feeling attacked and compromised I felt in control and the nice thing was that without exception everyone I let in said thank you. I felt so different. I felt benevolent, magnanimous and appreciated but most of all it proved that small changes can produce results. 

I was then through the success of that one small act able to go on to make other changes which resulted in improved self esteem and empowerment. Whilst writing this I've been remembering those classes and wondering would my life have been different if I'd continued with them. I guess the answer is it would. I'm also thinking I must re-enrol. 

1 comment:

  1. I know very little about this, but my eldest son who has PTSD attends Buddhism and meditation groups and it's the only thing that has helped him