Today I visited a Buddhist monastery and took part in a two-hour meditation session led by a monk. What a find and it never amazes me the signs, connections and synchronicities that lead me to places, people and practices most needed for me at any given time. I always feel like these things are planned and all that is required of me is an open heart and mind and a willingness to trust and follow. I never question these things and follow as I am led to experiences most soothing for my soul.
The day before my beautiful friend reached out to me. Let’s call her Love because to me she’s love personified and it touched me deeply, exactly what I needed, as during this summer I disconnected from love again and dropped into depression. This is not an unfamiliar territory for me, but these days I am more open to trusting that things will work out. They always do. We talked about Buddhism and how she became interested in it as well as I did this summer, in particular.
Buddha’s peace signature is the most beautiful thing and that comforting place that really makes me reach a state of inner stillness like nothing else does. I often just need to image a face of a Buddha and I am connected. For as long as I remember all I have ever wanted was inner peace. I could never find it until recent years when I reconnected to nature again. There was hope for my finding some place of contentment and peace.
Peace, in nature, however, is different and not always ‘peaceful’ really. Nature activates all my senses to the extreme sometimes and in recent years I find I can get intoxicated/overdosed on it. I have worked out when to go and when to leave with nature and I always know the exact purpose for me to be in nature. I am also mostly called to go so I follow. It is not just a healing place for me, but also a triggering agent and I often find that it is most healing when I am in a shadow space/distressed. It shakes me up and then roots me down again to clear it all out. I wrote previously about nature being a healer and a trigger. It is both light and dark, always.
With Buddha peace it is very different. It is not like in nature. It is very still, serene and as if my whole body melts into something very light. I sat in meditation today for the longest time I had ever done before. I forgot about my body but at the same time I was very aware of my whole body, I felt no discomfort even though sitting on a floor had always been uncomfortable. I can’t describe it. My senses were all so fresh and alert yet it was as if nothing but my body existed in that room full of people in that time. For the first time nothing and nobody bothered me while I was in meditation. My mind didn’t come into it.
I find it hard to meditate in nature as everything around me is so part of me it activates all within me. In nature it is more of an involvement, a dance, a connection with the elements, deities, trees hence I love doing magic and rituals in nature. Everything is living and breathing in nature and instead of switching off I can’t help but plug into everything. There is no stillness there like it was today, a different kind of peace. I surprised myself and my experience was wonderful. I could not stop smiling during and long after the event. I was floating but at the same time felt very grounded and mindful. I was present and content.
It wasn’t without lessons and messages either. When I stepped on the grounds of the monastery the first energy that hit me was of non-judgement. It was so clear. I felt not just belonging but being able to stay there forever should I needed to. I knew I would be accepted. I felt myself completely! I felt allowed to be myself. There was no resistance or anxiety. This is something I have not felt for a long time. It also pointed towards my own state of judging myself and others. Yes, I am judgemental I heard myself say and it was very releasing to say it. Such a valuable message.
During the meditation, as I became aware of my body so acutely I found out that I hold my anger in my thighs. There’s quite a war going on there. My feet are very activated in a way of being connected to the earth, that felt very grounding and it is a signature I can hold well. The top of my body is also very ‘together’, it seemed. I found focusing on the torso/middle body while meditating an extremely useful technique. It is indeed a place where most emotions are held. It was confirmed that I prefer and enjoy guided meditations to get me going at least before I sit in my own silence. I also enjoy walking mindful meditations, it is that ‘feet thing’ for me that connects me to the earth I find very reassuring and pleasurable.
Some other insights included:
– Buddha makes me smile on the inside. There’s such warmth and peace about the whole experience of Buddha
– There is beauty in simplicity and emptiness
– Monks’ voices are the most soothing thing I have experienced in ages
– Effecta lasted longer than anything else for sometime. It only compares to my time in nature, which can be very releasing and balancing, but again the effect is not always there depending on what I am doing in nature
– In this setting I am ok with people. It feels like I am alone even with many around me. This is new and refreshing!
– Walking bare feet is a simple pleasure
– I learnt some new sitting postures and persevering through what seems like a
discomfor, but not, is worth it (something the monk said)
– Meditation is observing what goes on underneath thoughts. Emotions. What we focus on magnifies and what we resist persists. If we focus on discomfort it will irritate and wake our mind up, which is not what we want. Let go, surrender and observe without involvement or seeking to change anything
– Focus on torso, centre of the body
– Experience the whole
Time flew by today and I didn’t want to leave the place. Such a welcome and wonderful experience and I will be back again for sure.
2 thoughts on “My Buddhist monastery visit”
Wow! Enlightening post. Thank you
Blessings and thank you for reading!
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