Saturday, June 10, 2006


A couple years ago when stuff was stressing me out, I ran across the notion of "mindfulness meditation" as stress-reliever. Mike and I signed up for a 6 week course at WiseWays, and I did some reading about mindfulness, meditation, and Buddhism.

I like meditation, but I don't regularly practice. I like that, at the core, nothing is really required but attention to the present. Our teacher would spread a cloth and lay out an altar with a stone, a candle, a small dish of water, and some sage. Nice props which appealed to my inner Wiccan, but mindfulness meditation doesn't need them. It doesn't need fancy postures, special pillows, mantras, or mandalas. It doesn't need faith, scripture, dogma, clergy, the divine feminine, or the crucified Lord. All that is required is attention to the breath and to the present moment, which is by its nature manifested here and now.

So of course, I did like Stephen Batchelor's Buddhism Without Beliefs. Since reading Franklin's post about how Buddhist practice has been subtly enriching his everyday life, I've been thinking I should set aside some time to breath, and maybe re-read Batchelor's book. I periodically look around to see if he's written anything else, and I'm happy to have discovered that Stephen Batchelor now has a blog. In his initial post, he says, "The view of reality disclosed through the natural sciences evokes feelings of awe incomparably greater than anything religious or mystical writings of any tradition can inspire." I can dig it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That might be what I like about lace knitting. Complicated enough that you have to concentrate on it but repetitive enough to be relaxing. I just focus on the lace and the repeating pattern. Spinning seems to be relaxing in that way, too. I'll check out those links.