January 10th, 2008

Still Growing

[Awakenings] A new thread

I've been spending a fair amount of time trying to find stillness. As some of you may remember I did an exercise a while back where I tried to follow a Buddhist monastic schedule. Although it didn't work out as I may have hoped, it was an interesting experience for me. As somewhat of a continuation of my search for wisdom and awakening, I have started this new thread. I've been reading a lot about many different people who have experienced some form or awakening and have also been taking time lately for reflection and stillness. This thread is where I will share some of my thoughts and experiences that result from meditation, introspection and just being present in the world. Since most of my knowledge surrounding this is based in Buddhism, you will notice that these posts will often reflect that.

These will be public posts, for the most part, so that anyone who stumbles across them can read them. I plan on keeping it that way but will be labelling the posts so that anyone who is not interested in reading this material can skip over them. As I may end up screening some of the more personal experiences, please let me know by replying to this post if you'd like to be included in the filter that I'll set up for that purpose.


[Awakenings] Moments of simple beauty

Yesterday, on my way in to work, I saw a homeless man sitting in what was a very specific meditation pose. He was sitting on the cold cement in the recessed part of a storefront. He sat crossed legged, with his back straight and his hands held in a position that is taught in Japanese Buddhism. I was strangely moved by this sight and had the sudden desire to kneel down in front of him in respect. Unfortunately, the fact that I was on my way in to work and would have messed up my pants kneeling on the ground resulted in me simply hurrying by.

This morning, I was on the streetcar with two beautiful young people who were hearing impaired. I think that the young woman was deaf and the young man was hearing impaired because he wore a hearing aid. It was incredible watching them interact without sound. There was something beautiful about it. I was trying not to stare but I was just fascinated and moved by them. It had me thinking about how easy it is to take something like the ability to hear for granted. These young people were both smiling and have a sense of contentment about them.

I thought about silence and I thought about “self” as I sat there. I remember getting a taste of communicating non-verbally when I was up in Nunavut and, despite the fact that I can speak perfectly well, I found that there was something really calming and precious about communicating non-verbally. I wondered what it would be like to communicate entirely in silence.

It also had me thinking about how we define ourselves. I’ve been reading a lot about “the self” lately. Seeing people who did not have the sense of hearing gave me a chance to reflect on the fact that our/my true “self”, who I really am, must transcend the five senses. If I lost any of my senses, or even all of them, I would still be me. So who am I? What am I? Ahhh....the eternal question. 



I really love Booster Juice but damn do I ever feel over-full and bloated after drinking one! Maybe I should get the snack size next time. *sigh*