from my state – literally and figuratively – and other places. i'm not in florida any more, but i haven't given up the sunshine.

8.31.2005

darkness into light

i attended a buddhist teaching/introductory class last night (disclaimer: it made two classes i’ve been to - ever - so if i’m off about something, please don’t hesitate to tell me; but please don’t be offended.). we did a taking and giving meditation. in this mediation, one concentrates on a person’s/group’s/one’s own future suffering: breathing in the suffering as dark, black smoke; allowing it transform within you as it kills your own delusions; and breathing out light and happiness.

what an amazing (if not somewhat difficult to grasp) concept that i could relieve someone else’s suffering. and by doing so, destroy some of my own delusions, which cause my own suffering. *and* breathe out light and love into the world.

last night we were asked to concentrate on those living on the gulf coast. and i thought… now that’s a hell of a lot of black smoke. i was soaked with sweat for a few days lamenting my lack of electricity. these people are swimming past their rooftops. they have lost homes, family members, livelihoods. and it will take far more than a few days for things to even resemble normal. they need our meditations, prayers, thoughts. they are helping each other. we need to do what we can. donating to the red cross is a good start.

4 Comments:

Blogger Cindy said...

Isn't the idea/concept of interdependence a powerful thing? When connected to the concept of suffering, you don't feel so isolated or separate from things. What "school" of Buddhism are you investigating, Zen, Chan, Tibetan...?

9/01/2005 08:23:00 AM

 
Blogger Kiker said...

The extent of the suffering in the Gulf region is amazing. They need a continual outpouring of light and love... and will for months, even years, to come.

9/01/2005 10:25:00 AM

 
Blogger betsy said...

it's kadampa. i don't think it's about the comfort of knowing that you're not the only one suffering. maybe more the joy of imagining that you could relieve someone's suffering. although they did also talk about how everything and everyone is interconnected.

9/01/2005 12:59:00 PM

 
Blogger Cindy said...

I didn't intend to imply that it was about feeling you are not the only one suffering. Since "all existence is suffering" is the origin of Buddhist thought, the focus of Buddhist practice is to end suffering. This can't happen in isolation. Relieving someone else's suffering relieves you of your suffering, which relieves someone else's suffering. It is the endless knot of interdependence that makes this possible. ...too much jabbering?

9/01/2005 01:27:00 PM

 

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