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You ask about my recent meditation experiences


These few paragraphs follow from insights when on retreat at Newbury Buddhist Monastery.

I no longer think of Buddhist practice as a method for gaining proficiencies in meditation and spiritual attainment. Rather, I view the eightfold path as a guide for my life to flourish and thrive, and make some small impact on this world of suffering. Thus areas of my life call for specific ways of practice, and meditation and mindfulness may not be sufficient.

I embrace my pain, focus on living nobly, shift my attention to the moment, and deal with things sensibly and realistically (as best I can). I now view the the teaching of the fundamental truths of the origin of rebirth and its cessation as pragmatic rather than dogmatic: a guide to follow rather than a set of dogmas to be believed.

I find it necessary to relegate the demands of this life to the higher task of preparing myself for post-mortem existence (or non-existence, whatever maybe the case). In any event, I’m concerned with the demands of this era of cruel exploitation of people and nature by propaganda to befuddle people to crystallise their opinions and consensus on issues ranging from what to eat for breakfast to going to war.

No matter how inadequate my responses to these demands are, and they are insignificant, of that reality I’m acutely aware. And if in the end there does turn out to be a heaven or nirvana or whatever somewhere else, I can see no better way to prepare for it by living the eight fold path.


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