Buddhism and Meditation

Worldly Winds part II

Yesterday we met up to meditate and continue our exploration of theWorldly Winds. This week we were looking at chapter one of Vajragupta’s book – Sailing the Worldly Winds. We were considering what it was like to be blown around by these winds and we discussed the following material:


Blown by the Winds


It is natural to want things to go our own way, to want what is best for us.


However, the worldly winds blow in two directions. If we are too attached to them only blowing in a favourable direction then we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.

- Caught up in this way our moods will swing with the winds. We are caught in a game of opposites.

- A lot of energy goes into these tussles with the world. But could it be that relying on external conditions for our happiness is passivity?

- Not getting what we want can sometimes lead to a loss of confidence or initiative. We can develop a “victim mentality”

- Getting what we want can sometimes lead to attachment and over-reliance. We expect to find lasting happiness in externals.



Gain & Loss


Small instances happen all the time: “my electricity bill is smaller than expected – I can afford that new pair of shoes. Going shopping I scrape the car and face a hefty repair bill. I join a queue at the supermarket and my queue is going the slowest (as always), getting to the checkout the lady in front lets me go first as I only have a few items”.


- Me and Mine

- Me vs. the world

- A bad case of tunnel vision giving a cramped feeling of limited perspective


Fame & Infamy


It is normal to want to be well regarded. But sometimes we go further and the desire is deeper. We want to be noticed, we want to be the centre of attention.


Maybe we type our name into Google to see if the world knows about us, or we compare our number of friends on Facebook to judge how popular we are. Maybe we get upset if we don’t get as many birthday cards as our friends. Being shown photos of a party we are most interested in looking for ourselves and checking how we look.


Our society is obsessed with fame for its own sake (e.g. Big Brother). Do we crave our 5 minutes of fame? Is infamy better than anonymity?


Praise & Blame


Sometimes we can receive praise & blame for the same thing at the same time!

We cannot seem to please all the people all the time.

We become blown about by these winds when they affect how we view ourselves or our ability to act e.g. inflated or punctured.

There is often a culture of blame – at work, in politics and sport (e.g. National Football – we loose so sack the manager).

Blame can be about disgruntlement – where we put our energy when we don’t get what we want.

It is helpful to let others know when they do well or poorly, but feedback should be objective, constructive and kind.



Pleasure & Pain


A holiday – we are excited! Toothache – we are moody. Someone has finished the last of the milk and left an empty carton  – we are exasperated. The sun comes out and our spirits lift.


Life has many small pleasures and minor discomforts. There will be moments of extreme pleasure and moments of strong pain and anxiety. Old age can bring increasing aches & pains. Even the healthiest of us get sick sometimes.


- Observing these worldly winds can show us how even small things can affect our mood.

- Because we cling to comfort and long to make it last and because we resist discomfort we make things worse for us than they need to be.



We looked at the following meditation/reflection exercise and agreed to give it a try during the week ahead:


Relflection : Blown by the Winds?


  • Take time to sit and calm your thoughts
  • Make room for more considered thoughts to arise
  • Have a pencil and paper handy to note down your thoughts
  • Do you recognise the worldly winds blowing in your life?
  • Try to recall small or large events in the last few days
  • Can you see any patterns or themes?
  • Which winds blow more frequently for you (positive and negative)?
  • Are certain situations more stormy?
  • Do you have experiences that do not fit into the traditional 8 Winds? What are your special Worldly Winds?
  • Keep your notes and bring them to the next class