Tuesday 4 February 2014

Notes from hanging out with the Buddhist monk.

So, after my last post about Mindfulness I decided to put my money where my mouth is and I attended an evening meditation session with a Buddhist monk. 

The benefits of meditation are listed as;

* Improves Sleep
* Improves Relantioships
* Relax and unwind
* Help overcome Stress and Frustration

I arrived with an open mind, but not really thinking that I would be able to sit still for the required 2 hours (being a mother of two young boys and a zumba teacher means I have a lot of excess energy, and sitting down for long periods is not something I usually do!).  The venue was our local library and I was surprised at how many people turned up - there was about 30 there, obviously the Buddhists are tapping into something within modern society that other religions are not...?

The theme of the discussions and meditations was anger, how to let go of anger, and how anger is the source of an unquiet mind (the aim is to have a peaceful mind - even if only for a milli-second).  Everything that the monk said seemed to resonate with the group, and the meditations seemed to fly over (even for me!) - I couldn't believe that I had been sitting still in a semi-conscious state for that long.  The session ended with a quick group discussion and a final meditation.

Afterwards I felt really relaxed and chilled out. In fact I was so chilled I was unable to find my car in the carpark (I did not get frustrated, I just accepted the frustration and moved on), then I wandered around the carpark (or should that be floated?!) until I found it.

Following that session, my friend Marie and I, decided to do the full day session called 'Pamper your Mind' at the Buddhist Centre in Darlington.  Again it was with the same monk (Dragdon - I hope I've spelt it correctly?), and the first session was about wealth and how it does not bring happiness, in fact the more that you have the more that you want.

Readings were taken from 'Eight Steps to Happiness' by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, which included things like:

'Happiness is a state of mind, so the real source of happiness must lie within the mind, not in external conditions'.

Discussions were based around appreciation of what we have, what is stopping us 'enjoying our enjoyments' (i.e. living in the moment) and looking at how, no matter how bad the situation, there is always something good to take from that (for your own personal development). So the next time someone irritates you - you need to thank them for giving you the opportunity to develop your own patience and tolerance.

The day seemed to fly over, with several discussions and meditations.  Lunch was included (vegetarian of course!), which gave us a chance to talk to others on the course, all from various backgrounds and ages, and all really friendly. All in all it was a great way to spend a 'derby' Saturday in February!

Details of other courses can be found at the below link - which includes details about the sessions run in Durham.


My recommendation if you're going to go on a day course - wear thick socks ;).

Let me know if you're been to the centre or intend to go. 
If you would be interested in meditation classes then please let me know.

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