• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

Buddhism, mindfulness and wellbeing

oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London
In contrast to the above proverb, I came across this on a blog called ‘The Crooked Path’ by Carla



She writes: "The above cartoon is from the New Yorker, and is referenced in Jon Kabat-Zinn's book, Wherever You Go, There You Are.

'People don't usually get this right away,' Kabat-Zinn writes, 'They want to meditate in order to relax, to experience a special state, to become a better person, to reduce some stress or pain, to break out of old habits and patterns, to become free or enlightened. All valid reasons to take up meditation practice, but all equally fraught with problems if you expect those things to happen just because now you are meditating. You'll get caught up in wanting to have a 'special experience' or in looking for signs of progress, and if you don't feel something pretty quickly, you may start to doubt the path you have chosen, or to wonder whether you are 'doing it right.'

This is a way of looking at meditation that I have often struggled with. When sitting, I often get thoughts to the effect of, 'Is this a waste of time? What is the purpose of this? What am I supposed to be getting from this?' It's natural to think this way, and with most human endeavors, that kind of thinking is reasonable. It's only with meditation that the point is not what you're getting out of it. The point is clear ackowledgement that what is happening is happening."
 
maxitab

maxitab

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 18, 2010
Messages
10,392
Location
In Devon
I think 'Wherever you are.....' is becoming my bible. I now have an unabridged version on CD, the book in several copies as well as a little book with quotes and beautiful or appropriate illustrations.
Q "What happens now?"
A "Now"
 
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London


This is a summary of a part of a passage from a book I’m reading on Zen practice that meant something to me this morning…

Wake up!.... Bolt the burning bed, stripped of opinions and naked of belief…

What’s it going to take to relinquish our small “I”, our opinions and precious stories?

Love is empty. It is only when we fill it with our desires, our needs and attachments that it ceases to be love and slips from our hearts and minds. Abide quietly and be absorbed by the emptiness you never left. If this isn’t love, I don’t know what is.
 
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London


“Don’t spend an eternity or even a moment more on this incessant search for love and completion. They exist only here and now if at all.

Don’t say, “I haven’t worked through all my issues, my attachments, my addictions, my neuroses, my suffering.” My, my, my! Me, me, me! ENOUGH!!! The mind always screaming, sometimes insinuatingly whispering, “Me, me, me . . .” It’s all a deadly game played by your thinking to keep your eye off the ball, the true target, the real completion.

Hurry up, hurry up! Wake up! Alarms are ringing everywhere, and even in your deep slumber you can hear them. The green of the grass, the pine scent, cars backfiring, the aroma of coffee… All things are dharmas and doors to truth; all things are alarm clocks constantly ringing: wake up, wake up!

Everything is teaching you and demanding your immediate attention. It’s now or never, yet never too late because it’s only Now.”

From ‘The Zen of Recovery’, Mel Ash
 
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London
I like the simplicity of these words of mindfulness practice from Thich Nhat Hanh which can be used as part of meditation or just be remembered at odd moments...

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”

― Buddhist monk and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, from 'Being Peace'
 
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London
Don't just do something...



“To be honest, most of the time meditation is quite boring, so don’t expect a lot. In fact, the less you expect, the more you’ll probably get.

It is boring, I suppose, only in contrast to the frenzied pace that most of us are required to keep in order to survive in this world. We’ve lost our natural ability to just relax and enjoy the moment.

So in this light, your practice will become less boring and more fulfilling as you recover your original, brilliant sanity. The rest of your life will become informed by the lessons learned sitting on the cushion and you can start waking up in all areas.

Ultimately, your meditation time will become exciting because you feel totally alive and aware. The rest of your life might start to seem like sleepwalking, but now you can do something about it. You can see that the practice often turns our opinions on their heads and radically rearranges our perspectives.”

From ‘The Zen of Recovery’, by Mel Ash

 
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London

1. SEEKING THE OX

Desolate through forests and fearful in jungles,
he is seeking an Ox which he does not find.
Up and down dark, nameless, wide-flowing rivers,
in deep mountain thickets he treads many bypaths.
Bone-tired, heart-weary , he carries on his search
for this something which he yet cannot find.
At evening he hears cicadas chirping in the trees.
Bump....................
 
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London
The path is the goal



When something hurts in life, we don’t usually think of it as our path or as the source of wisdom. In fact, we may think that the reason we’re on the path is to get rid of this painful feeling. (“When I get to such-and-such, I won’t feel this way any more.”) At that level of wanting to get rid of our feeling, we naively cultivate a subtle aggression against ourselves.

However, the fact is that anyone who has used the moments and days and years of his or her life to become wiser, kinder, and more at home in the world has learned from what has happened right now. We can aspire to be kind right here in the moment, to relax and open our heart and mind to what is in front of us right in the moment. Now is the time…

When we find ourselves in a mess, we don’t have to feel guilty about it. Instead, we could reflect on the fact that how we relate to this mess will be sowing the seeds of how we will relate to what happens next. If there is any possibility of enlightenment, it’s right now, not at some future time. Now is the time…

When we realise that the path is the goal, there’s a sense of workability. Trungpa Rimpoche said,

Whatever occurs in the confused mind is regarded as the path. Everything is workable. It is a fearless proclamation, the lion’s roar.”

Everything that occurs in our confused mind we can regard as the path. Everything is workable.

If we find ourselves in what seems like a rotten or painful situation and we think, “Well, how is this enlightenment?” We can just remember this notion of the path, that what seems undesirable in our lives doesn’t have to put us to sleep. What seems undesirable in our lives doesn’t have to trigger habitual reactions. We can let it show us where we’re at and let it remind us that the teachings encourage precision and gentleness, with loving-kindness toward every moment…

This teaching applies to even the most horrendous situations life can dish out. Jean-Paul Sartre said that there are two ways to go to the gas chamber, free or not free. This is our choice in every moment. Do we relate to our circumstances with bitterness or with openness?

This is why it can be said that whatever occurs can be regarded as the path, and that all things, not just some things, are workable. This teaching is a fearless proclamation of what’s possible for ordinary people like you and me.

Pema Chodron, Buddhist nun and author
from 'When Things Fall Apart'
 
Last edited:
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London
A bit more from the same chapter by Pema Chodron... I've found this idea helpful lately, that wherever we are at the moment, however we're feeling, that's where we can find self-acceptance and wisdom - 'This too, this too' as one affirmation says..

"The path is uncharted. It comes into existence moment by moment and at the same time drops away behind us. It's like riding on a train sitting backwards. We can't see where we're headed, only where we've been.

This is a very encouraging teaching, because it says that the source of wisdom is whatever is going to happen to us today. The source of wisdom is whatever is happening to us right at this very instant.

We're always in some kind of mood. It might be sadness, it might be anger. It might be not much of anything, just a kind of blur. It might be humour or contentment. In any case, whatever it is, that's the path."
 
J

Jericho

Guest
Wonderful stuff, Oneday - thank you very much for posting it, its nice to see this thread light up again.
 
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London
Thanks, Jericho - your appreciation much appreciated.
 
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London


I liked reading these quotes this morning...

"When you dwell in stillness, the judging mind can come through like a foghorn. 'I don't like the pain in my knee... This is boring... I like this feeling of stillness; I had a good meditation yesterday, but today I'm having a bad meditation... It's not working for me. I'm no good at this. I'm no good, period...'

This type of thinking dominates the mind and weighs it down. It's like carrying around a suitcase full of rocks on your head. It feels good to put it down. Imagine how it might feel to suspend all your judging and instead to let each moment be just as it is, without attempting to evaluate it as 'good' or 'bad'. This would be a true stillness, a true liberation. Meditation means cultivating a non-judging attitude toward what comes up in the mind, come what may."

Jon Kabat-Zinn
From ‘Wherever You Go, There You Are’


"It's not a matter of letting go—you would if you could. Instead of 'Let it go,' we should probably say 'Let it be.'

Jon Kabat-Zinn
 
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London


Following the idea of ‘letting it be’, I liked finding this quote this morning with its ancient teaching encouraging the practice of mindfulness, of letting it be…


In what is seen, let there be just the seen;
In what is heard, let there be just the heard;
In what is sensed, let there be just the sensed;
In what is thought, let there be just the thought.

From the Sutta Nipata
(considered one of the oldest Buddhist scriptures)
 
Top