Buddhism and Meditation

Worldly Winds – part III


Last week the Milton Keynes Meditation Association met up to meditate and continue exploring the Worldly Winds. This is the material we explored int hat meeting:


Previously we have identified the 8 Worldly Winds:


  • Praise & Blame
  • Pleasure & Pain
  • Success & Failure
  • Fame & Infamy


We have reflected on our experience of these in our lives, how they occur and to what extent they affect us – how they condition our emotions and the ways we behave.


In this section we will be Learning how to Sail the Worldly winds – how to be less buffeted about, how to navigate.


Learning to Sail – We will consider 4 stages in this practice:


  • Recognising the Worldly Winds
  • Distinguishing Control from Influence
  • Seeing the Worldly Winds as Opportunities
  • Listening to the Stories we tell


This week we will consider the first 2 of these:



1/ Recognising the Worldly Winds



  • Looking out for them. Becoming aware of them.


  • Noticing the times and situation when we are more vulnerable to be blown about by them.


  • As we practice recognising them we will see them appearing in our daily life more often.


  • They can become a helpful way of thinking about our daily experience.


  • Just becoming aware of them can have a strong effect – opening up a gap between what happens to us and our response to this – a mindful moment


  • Naming the Demon – a traditional Buddhist practice – by naming the demon that torments us we become aware of what we are dealing with and stop being passive. To know a demons name is to take it’s power.






2/ Distinguishing Control from Influence


  • Firstly we recognise that we are under the influence of the worldly winds


  • We can ask ourselves what is happening in terms of control & influence


  • To what extent is this situation under my control?


  • To what extent is this situation outside of my control?


  • Do you need to change and adapt?


  • Can you respond in a way that has positive influence on your state of mind and perhaps on the situation itself?


  • Where we can influence there is room for action. What is beyond our influence we can identify and then try to learn to accept it.




A loved one is seriously ill in hospital. They await a bed in specialist ward. The factors affecting the availability of a bed are outside of your control.


If we do not recognise and work at accepting that this as outside our control it may lead to further unnecessary anxiety and stress for us on top of what we already experience.


There may be ways in which we can still have a positive influence such as comforting our loved one or talking calmly with staff – keeping your friends needs on their radar. Perhaps there are friends or family that need contacting.



Reflection on Control & Influence


Looking back at last weeks exercise on how the worldly winds blow in our life, can you see how you might resist those situations – how you try to maintain the feeling or appearance of control?


How does that manifest? What does it feel like?


What would it feel like to give up control and just do what you can to have a positive influence?


Try closing your  eyes and doing a relaxing body scan.

Remember one of these situations and imagine yourself in back in it.

What did it feel like? What were your thoughts?

Can you imagine a more creative response? What would that look and feel like?