Friday, January 28, 2005

om shanti

meditation

one of the volunteers on the farm
practices psychiatry in england
when he's not harvesting rice in
pondicherry.

we were talking about treatments
for miscallaneous mental orders. i
found myself espousing meditation
for almost everything. he made the
point that meditation could be quite
difficult especially for the depressed.

he also made the point that without
faith almost all treatments were worthless.

having practiced several forms of meditation
under different traditions over the years i
have found that different forms seem to work
better for me depending on how agitated i am.

the zen ideal of absolute silence seems like
the ultimate ideal, but for me is a difficult
practice unless im in a very quiet place to
begin with, and even then it is very much an
excersize in mindfulness as i watch my mind
wander and i attempt to bring it back again.

even in the common buddhist practice of
concentrating on the breath, countnig each one
to 10 and then starting over has some subtle
variations that seem to affect the difficulty /
serenity i find with them. the easiest form ive
found is using the full exhale to make the count.
much harder for me is makeing a quick tick count
at the end or beginning of the breath, tho i find
when i can do this i enjoy an expansiveness with
my exhale that i dont notice when im saying a
number to myself with it.

this morning we harvested rice. afterwards i
wasn't sure what to do with myself. i took a nap
for a bit and then wakled down to the internet
cafe to avoid the strange anxious depressed mood
i felt was waiting for me on the farm if i didn't
manage to get off it.

walking i started using my beads again - chanting
hare krishna. i find i can chant even in fairly
foul moods, and it usually works well to bring me
out of a funk.

om shanti :)

$ log 1/27
104p - 3hrs internet

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