Young People Have It So Easy These Days…

16/06/2010

Welcome Home…

Filed under: Meditation,Photography — davedoyle87 @ 01:15

Olympus have finally returned my E-510 DSLR after 5 months of waiting for spare parts to be shipped from Japan. I’m overjoyed to have it back; having missed so many good photo opportunities since January I’ve begun taking pictures again in earnest. These are two I took today.

The first is a collapsible two-piece meditation stool, constructed in MDF by my friend Matt at the Birmingham Buddhist Centre. He wanted to see his creation after I had attacked it with a can of antique gold enamel spray paint. I was pleased with the result, myself.

The second photograph is of my Mk. III British Army sighting compass, manufactured in 1941 by TG. Co. Ltd. of London. Unfortunately, it appears to have been demagnetised. If anyone has any idea how I might go about restoring it to working order I would be very excited to hear from you, it being an antique and a gift.

The third is a self-portrait, of sorts, taken under a weeping willow tree in my local park where I had been meditating this afternoon.

All (c) Dave Doyle, 2010

P.S. Feel free to let me know which is your favourite using the poll below. (I don’t mean to sound conceited, but I’ve just realised that you can insert polls into your posts and was curious to see whether/how it worked!)

15/06/2010

Meditation Poetry

Filed under: Meditation,Philosophy — davedoyle87 @ 15:06

These words came to me this afternoon while I meditated in my garden on the sad end of my long relationship with my (now ex-)girlfriend, which has affected me more deeply than I thought anything could.

I had been missing her touch in particular; the lack of physical contact was making me feel desperately alone in the world. I’m publishing these words here out of a desire both to record and to share them. I hope that they bring you some enjoyment. If so, please do leave a comment.

As I sit,
in my hour of aloneness,
the sun has for me
a warm hug.

I turn my face up
to nestle in its breast
while the breeze plays its soft fingers
through my hair.

Meanwhile, a blackbird
whistles reassurances
in my ear,
over my shoulder.

And I realise:

we are all interconnected,
life with element,
my isolation perceived
but not real.

(c) Dave Doyle, 2010

14/06/2010

A Little Perspective

Filed under: Meditation,Philosophy,Psychotherapy — davedoyle87 @ 23:23

People meditate in order to relax.

Everyone knows that, surely.

But what is the link between meditation and relaxation? And if it’s such a great tranquiliser, why aren’t millions of meditation addicts overflowing from rehabilitation centres worldwide for the positively sociopathic amount of time they spend alone (or indeed in groups) with their eyes closed?

It was a question which puzzled me too, as a particularly stress-prone young man, before I was introduced to this ancient and life-enhancing practice: what about all the time that you’re not meditating? Did meditation provide, at best, brief respite from… well, the world? Given that my anxiety generally came about as a consequence of exams or social situations, and not sitting with my eyes closed, this unanswered question seemed like reasonable grounds for scepticism.

Of course the way to learn about such things is not to avoid them, but to try them for yourself. And learn I did. The answer, based on my own experience of meditation, isĀ perspective. Focussing on one’s inner self, one’s own continuous, vital life processes (i.e. breathing) or the propagation of metta (universal loving kindness, very roughly translated) encourages a greatly improved perspective on the relatively trivial matters which can all-too-easily cause distress in even the most emotionally stable people in their darker moments. And you don’t have to be sitting down or have your eyes closed to have a perspective on something; it stays with you indefinitely, as long as you sit and foster it occasionally.

As such, little stuff just bothers you less. It’s as simple as that. It’s a beautiful thing, really.

For the ordained Buddhist who has pretty much devoted his life to meditation, it seems to be a ticket to perpetual contentment (judging by the content smiles they permanently wear, at least). To those of us still driven by more material concerns, life remains complicated. Just a little less so. Go on; give it a try.

Written in memory of the twelve Cumbrian individuals murdered by Derrick Bird on the 2nd of June and with metta for the families who survive them: proof that no matter how distressing your life may seem, it can almost always be infinitely more so.

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