In 2006 the journey of my spiritualism took me on a path of learning more about the beliefs and teachings of the Buddha. I began by studying with some Buddhist nuns at a temple in Austin. I learned the basics of the beliefs and began working on meditation practices. I have read much of what the Dalai Lama has to say and have had the wonderful experience of seeing him in person. The peace that radiates from him is very amazing. I have studied what Thích Nhất Hạnh has to say about meditation.
I am not religious at this point in my life. What that means to me is that I do not enjoy what happens to me when I become attached to religion. Truthfully, becoming attached to anything is not in keeping with the traditions of mindfulness. That does not mean I cannot love, it means I have recognized the natural law that all things change. Being attached means I get caught up in destructive emotions when the flow of natural law begins to change something I have been clinging to.
Simply stated, my task at this point is learning to be present in whatever I am doing. That means I cannot look down the road or get caught up in what I do not like in the moment. I must focus on what I am doing and finding the good in it. I look within myself and seek to be motivated by love not fear. I seek to be at peace. When I find that inner voice saying "I hate..." I focus on the thought and what I have those feelings about to determine if that is really true. I recognize that my mind has parts that are untrained and those parts will make things up. In other words we lie to ourselves!
We read, we study, and then....we make up a story about what we have read and studied. We look for others who have made up the same story to validate our findings. We then ATTACH to that belief. This is the TRUTH. I will fight for the TRUTH. In that attachment, I have invalidated any other possibilities that the world might have to show me.
I am much more at peace now that I know that life is about change. I do not have to ask WHY. I simply enjoy the changes. Almost a year ago I moved to a new city. I moved for the sole purpose of being close to family but in the course of that my career made a huge shift. There have been many changes. I know that as long as I keep my peace and share my peace all will be good for me.
I am learning more about myself and the world as I learn to be more present and aware. As I watch my one year old granddaughter discover the world, I rejoice in her joy. The path I am on is pleasant. The most basic part is spending time in meditation. The more I meditate the more centered and at peace I will be. MUST I do that every day at prescribed times? No, it is like anything else. MUST I exercise and eat healthy foods? No, but the more I do that the better I will feel.