Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sept 19 - Photo a Day - Underneath

Buddhist monk, Bhante Kovida
One of my dearest friends works for Health Canada here in the capital city. Two weeks ago, she invited me to attend four Wednesdays of meditations and presentations by this sweet man, Bhante Kovida.

Today -- my first open Wednesday -- I sat on a beautiful wooden floor and listened to him speak about our relationships to ourselves, the world, our friends and loved ones, and those who challenge us. Reminders, once again, that what truly matters is not on the surface / ego level of life, but rather, that which is underneath.

The Buddhist path to living mindfully includes the practice of sitting in meditation. I was one of forty students -- mostly employees from the sixteen floors above our heads -- who sat silently for the first half hour in the gorgeous Iskatew Lodge. We breathed. In and Out. Noticed our minds drifting into "thinking, thinking, thinking," and brought them back to the breath. Released. Again and again. It is difficult and peace-filled and uncomfortable and calming. Next week, I hope to join them again.

 Here is a lovely paragraph from the page he shared with us...

"Only awareness can free us from our thoughts. In the moment we become aware that our thoughts are just thoughts rather than reality itself, we wake up from their spell and can return to presence. It is empowering to discover that we are not enslaved by our thoughts, by how our mind interprets reality. This sudden taste of freedom provides a glimpse of ordinary magic. It takes practice to wake up, to emerge from our mind-created worlds. Thoughts, images, and moods are not necessarily connected to what is actually happening in the present moment. That is why the Buddha taught us to be mindful of them before we are influenced or caught by them." {Those few sentences might be worth a second read.}

Namaste, until tomorrow. ("I honor the spirit in you which is also in me.")

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