The Turning of my Mind.
I have been struggling with a slight case of writers block recently and finding my way into writing something for this blog has been proving difficult. I think this has been due to a lack of Dharmic input in my life over the last few months. I have forgotten to keep my eyes open to the beauty that surrounds me every day. I have been in a very introverted space, reflected a lot over my experiences of the last handful of years and have really and truly begun to reflect and more importantly start to accept those things that make me who I am. The process is challenging but innately beautiful once there is respite enough to look back and see how much life has shifted. The explanations of how this works is what I am struggling with at the moment. I either know something intuitively or I know something intellectually and words fail me on both counts! In any case that is not a reason to stop trying to communicate something that has moved me in some way.
I also attended the Women’s Mitra study week – click here for Lulu’s report – and found that it was just what I needed, an injection of Dharma as the spring tries its best to burst into life, battling with the snow; a reminder of things I have already been taught (For anyone interested in listening to the talks on the four mind turning reflections, you can find the talks on Free Buddhist Audio). My attempts at routine haven’t quite manifested after moving to Bristol two months ago so to get immersed into Dharma and supported by Sangha felt like a really positive turning point in my year so far. Just being surrounded by my Sangha, in a different form was incredibly healing, actually seeing and experiencing a continuation, new life after a death, the turning of a wheel helped me to put aside some of the fears that I have had concerning about how Buddhafield will strive forward.
Getting out of the city and standing under the starry, starry skies of Devon also helped to put many things into perspective; that I can imagine pulling Orion’s sword from his belt to battle with delusion is quite magnificent. I have a capacity understand that human life is precious, brief and very rare. I have a body that, for its aches and pains, takes me places, allows me to dance. I have a mind that can imagine the most incredible things, takes in and filters information, forming opinions and allows me to reflect on the fact that I am here on a planet that supports my life, all life and that I have come into contact with a set of teachings that is helping me to see these incredible things more clearly. For some reason I still take this information for granted, I quite flippantly say ‘yeah, I know’ like the stroppy teenager I once was. My mind, or maybe all of me, still wants to cling to the negative, somehow, somewhere along the way the negative became the easier way to live.
But life is also impermanent and things do change, shift, transform and this sucks quite a lot of the time but occasionally and sometimes more than occasionally, the utter joy and relief of seeing something shift is amazing. So what shifted for over this week?
It sounds simple but the fact that I can change my mind, my perspective on how see things. Turning the negative approach into the positive approach. I try to look out for the changes and watch my emotional response to these changes. I find these initial responses fascinating and exploring how to move forward from that initial response is also fascinating!
When life starts to be seen as deeply connected as it is then all the actions that are taken must be taken with, at least, awareness and at most with awareness, kindness and compassion for yourself and for others. I have had to go back to myself, to understand my cravings, my fears and my inspirations and by knowing these things deeply, challenging the things that frighten me, questioning why I crave something, moving towards the things that inspire me I can strive forward and feed into a bigger picture of positive conditions.