It’s been 10 years since I last meditated. I was a very diligent meditator. A serious Zen practitioner for 4 years and then a joyful Tibetan Buddhist swirling mantras for 8 years.
I do fondly remember being a practitioner of Nichiren Daishonin but despite this fervent devotion I moved to Amsterdam and the meditation stopped and the party began. Although I had been partying hard throughout the years anyway but no more meditation.
I heard meditation practice described as making you feel like a pumped tyre and while not meditating, like a deflated tyre. There is less self-awareness, the anger bites a bit more, and the thoughts and feeling of your mind are like a ship being tossed around a stormy ocean.
My mind was in a storm but how to remind myself that I was nothing but the ocean? After many years of struggling with anger and jealousy I reluctantly purchased an online course by the Vietnamese teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.
As I have written about psychosis before I have recently felt that I was talking to Buddhist teachers in my head. I started to wonder whether my psychosis was me becoming psychic?
Seeing as the voices were positive, I decided to ignore going to the doctors and instead paid the 150$ for the mindfulness course. I used to meditate for at least 45 minutes a sitting, sometimes 6 hours a day facing the wall with breaks in between. Now I had difficulty sitting for 3 minutes. My mind was full of anger and bitterness and restlessness, but I couldn’t sit down to calm my mind down.
The Mindfulness course is available 24/7 online and is broken down into easy to digest chapters. While there is practical advice on meditation, I was surprised to see each chapter leading into a different subject about Buddhism. So here I was again 30 years later when I first started to meditate and understand Buddhism. I am back to the beginning learning to just sit and being taught about the basic tenets of Buddhism.
I’m not calm yet, still trying, but I have had some quiet moments and reminding myself about the Buddhist ideas and concepts is really interesting. The Buddhist teachings never go out of fashion. Please try.