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A lockdown spiritual odyssey

AlexAlex UK Veteran
edited June 13 in Faith & Religion

I know many people have used lockdown to learn to cook, go jogging, read, etc., etc.,

During this lockdown period, I have been on quite the spiritual odyssey, having participated in ; Zen (of a very traditional style, Zafus, black robes, etc.,), Theravada, Nichiren, Plum Village, Christian meditation (John Main - effectively, mantra meditation), Ignatian prayer and spirituality, Triratna, Amida Shu Pureland and Quakerism. I have attended multiple Zoom meetings for all of these.

I’ve ended up back where I started, interestingly.

I’ve found that Plum Village and Samatha / Theravada combo gives me what I need. I’ve also thrown some Triratna into the mix. I never thought I would go near them, but I’ve found a few Sangha’s locally, who have all been supremely welcoming and they’re all connected, so you see same people at different groups. They also stay connected via WhatsApp Dharma groups between meetings, so I’m finding myself eating some of my earlier views re this strand. I’m also finding their Dharma study very strong, taking in a span of traditions, much more thoughtful and in depth than anything else I’ve come across within 50 miles of home.

I‘m sort of exhausted, but I knew I’d never get a better chance to really dig into my spirituality and explore. The lockdown has oddly allowed it to be a bit easier due to Zoom, so you can cover ground quite quickly without physically attending all of these, but one clearly doesn’t get the in depth experience. It also does cloud the mind a bit, as you find yourself in all sorts of dilemmas about direction. Sometimes, one instinctively knows something doesn’t sit right and walks away.

Sometimes, you have to go to those places to get to this one.

I know some people will think I’m crazy, or whatever. But I wanted to say what I’d been doing somewhere, and here it is.

Hmmmm....I just discovered that there’s a local Kagyu group I missed, may have to scope them out.....🤔😂

federicaShoshinlobsterKeromeadamcrossley

Comments

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    That doesn't sound crazy at all. Intense maybe, but crazy? No....

    Alexcarolann
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited June 13

    The 2-4 hours a day that I was spending with friends at a local snooker club that I really enjoyed, ended with Covid 19 social distancing. I shifted that extra leisure time over to my formal meditation practice which in turn blossomed into a new level of meditative life joy that now has made me wondering how much of my former socializing was actually escapist in nature and a source of dukkha that I wasn't recognizing.

    AlexShoshin
  • AlexAlex UK Veteran

    @How that’s very interesting, thank you for that insight. In all my searching, I Have done a lot of sitting, however, it’s obviously been a bit scattergun, given all the different traditions. I have found that I quite enjoy a mantra meditation, so I will now augment my current breath based practice with that

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    I have learned to cook pizza by recipe from scratch and cinnamon rolls. I've kept going on my daily meditation and reading/viewing. Jogging, stretching, and strength calisthenics almost daily.

    lobsterBunksAlex
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I have found that I quite enjoy a mantra meditation, so I will now augment my current breath based practice with that

    Cool.

    I have learned that my garden is a Buddha/Awake. Yeah baby! o:)

    Alex
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @lobster said:

    I have found that I quite enjoy a mantra meditation, so I will now augment my current breath based practice with that

    Cool.

    I have learned that my garden is a Buddha/Awake. Yeah baby! o:)

    Me too! (No hashtag, so as to not confuse the issues.)

    Alexlobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Alex said:
    During this lockdown period, I have been on quite the spiritual odyssey, having participated in ; Zen (of a very traditional style, Zafus, black robes, etc.,), Theravada, Nichiren, Plum Village, Christian meditation (John Main - effectively, mantra meditation), Ignatian prayer and spirituality, Triratna, Amida Shu Pureland and Quakerism. I have attended multiple Zoom meetings for all of these.

    I’ve ended up back where I started, interestingly.

    It’s an interesting selection, that is for sure. Sometimes it is necessary to branch out like that and really see things from several different perspectives, it can be very refreshing. But my experience is that deep reflection on the principles of a spiritual direction and how they match your own core views on life is what ultimately drives whether you stay or move on.

    I’ve found that Plum Village and Samatha / Theravada combo gives me what I need. I’ve also thrown some Triratna into the mix. ... I’m finding myself eating some of my earlier views re this group.

    I have some good experiences with Triratna, I have a very knowledgeable Buddhist acquaintance who is a long-standing member.

    I‘m sort of exhausted, but I knew I’d never get a better chance to really dig into my spirituality and explore. The lockdown has oddly allowed it to be a bit easier due to Zoom, so you can cover ground quite quickly without physically attending all of these, but one clearly doesn’t get the in depth experience. It also does cloud the mind a bit, as you find yourself in all sorts of dilemmas about direction. Sometimes, one instinctively knows something doesn’t sit right and walks away.

    It’s certainly true now that a lot of things have gone online it has made it easier to get tasters of these things, definitely if you can sit in on whatsapp groups.

    I know some people will think I’m crazy, or whatever. But I wanted to say what I’d been doing somewhere, and here it is.

    It doesn’t sound crazy at all to me, rather a pretty efficient way to connect to different groups and see what they are all about. Often the Buddhist organisations like Nichiren and Triratna don’t get as much exposure as big streams like Zen or Tibetan, but it can be very worthwhile checking them out.

    lobsteradamcrossleyAlex
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    A lockdown spiritual odyssey

    Despite my best efforts, I am a spiritual fanatic. I will not be diverted by certainty, uncertainty, Bodhi Covid and her band of viral mutants, demons, saints or me.

    Death will probably slow me down.

    During this imprisonment a new freedom emerges. The Mahayana Curse:

    Creations are numberless, I vow to free them.
    Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to transform them.
    Reality is boundless, I vow to perceive it.
    The awakened way is unsurpassable, I vow to embody it.

    https://www.upaya.org/teachings/liturgy/four-great-bodhisattva-vows/

    Holy Sugar Puffs ...

    JeffreyAlexadamcrossley
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Hmmmm....I just discovered that there’s a local Kagyu group I missed, may have to scope them out.....

    More exploration ...

    I very much like the normality of @Jeffrey odyssey. Any spirituality that includes home made cinnamon rolls and pizza gets my vote/blessing.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_cuisine

    AlexJeffrey
  • AlexAlex UK Veteran

    @lobster

    ah my pithiness bypassed my favourite crustacean,

    I won’t be exploring further.

    I’m combining TNH form of Zen (I know he’s officially Zen, but is he Zen ?) and Theravada / Samatha.

    More sitting, less reading.

    More inner, less outer.

    More Sanguine, less Sangha.

    adamcrossleylobster
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    @lobster thanks. For me it's something to share with my cooking partner and life partner and is very delicious. We both like to eat and cook. For my mental health it's good for me to keep active and do a good mixture of familiar and outside my comfort zone of activity. From a Buddhist perspective I guess it's a different life experience than simple foods always. I don't know that cinnamon rolls etc would be a great food for a retreat experience or you might be thinking of cinnamon rolls all meditation!

    AlexKeromelobster
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    @Alex
    Is TNH Zen?

    The longer I do Zen, the less I think I know who or what Zen is.

    ShoshinAlexlobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    More inner, less outer.

    It is early morning. Rain and first bird sung. Zen in the Art of Cinnamon Rolling calls ...

    I will sit a while in the Inner Piece of Formal Being.

    @how said:
    @Alex
    Is TNH Zen?

    TNH = That Naughty How! ;)

    WalkerShoshinAlex
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I think TNH is Zen... you only have to look at his calligraphy to see it, lots of circles.

    Alexadamcrossley
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