Friday, March 13, 2009

Six O'Clock to Buddhism


So this week I skipped my Tuesday night Writing Critique group and opted for the Buddhist Meditation group instead. With both of them being on the same night of the week-- which ticks me off a little-- I frequently find myself on Tuesday afternoons wondering which one I need more. This week there was no question.

Meditation is something I've done on and off for years but have been putting myself into position more regularly this past year, sometimes even twice a day now- 20-30 minutes each session. I like the shorter, 20-minute runs infinitely more than the 'all-in-one-sitting' hour-longs I used to think were necessary on a daily basis. And I've been supplementing with Buddhism books to learn more on this subject I've been curious about for so long. Like other subjects, the nudging toward Buddhism that finally got me off my behind ~no backward pun intended~ has come to me from several different sources lately- 2 friends and a relative- loaning and sending me books and espousing the virtues and benefits of the practice. No pushing or pressure, just an open invitation.

When 'The Ed' asked: "What time are you going to Buddhism?"

I had to reply with a laugh. "6:00 to Buddhism." And having wanted to do this for years, I already feel late.

I've always known meditation was beneficial to the body, good for stress, all the usual things one hears about it. And as I've said, I've frequently dabbled. But I'm just now beginning to learn the truly magnified scope of its magic. More on that in a different post.

But this day, I felt the hour group meditation (incorporating both sitting and walking sessions) and discussion would be helpful with some anger and judgements I've been feeling lately, both from myself and others. Having been a fairly judgemental person in my paaaaast, other people's judgements are beginning to bite my butt; irritate me no end; make me aaannngry. Thus getting me to group.

The sessions at this group are broken up into 2- 1 hour time segments: 1 hour for meditation, a 15 minute break and then 45 minutes for reading aloud from a book~ followed by discussion on the reading. Toward the end of the discussion this week, with a few minutes left and while everyone was wondering if we should read another section or just end early, I asked a question.

My question was to the learned in the group on the subject of Buddhism, wondering about how Buddhism stood on the topic of synchronicity. My relative told me one thing but I read in one of the books something different so wanted to get some feedback from those in the group who might know.

Instead I got a loud (nearly shrill) ranting from 'Newbie-on-my-Right' about her feelings and judgements (not favorable) and obviously, clearly superior take on the subject.
Huh.

I sat calmly, letting her go off and tried to maintain the 'understanding' smile on my face and not react with what I was feeling...which was anger. Of course, everyone's entitled to contribute but my question was not what everyone's opinion was on the subject but what Buddhism's take was on it. When she was finally done, 'Newbie" actually curled her body backward and inward a little while the very loud sound of her voice reverberated in the silence, then apologized and sat quietly for a few minutes...until someone else spoke and she needed to put more of her two cents in, raising her hand over and over like a child in a classroom who might not make it to the bathroom.

When we got out to the car, my friend said, "I've never heard anyone actually yell in the temple room before!"

So I went to the group because of anger and came out with more. What a surprise.

I'm pretty sure next week I'm going to my Critique Group.

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