Buddhism and Meditation

Worldly Winds – part IV


Last Tuesday the MK Meditation Association met up topractice some meditation together and continue exploring the Buddhist teachings known as the Worldly Winds. This is the material we explored in the 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.

 

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 third of these:

 

Seeing the Worldly Winds as Opportunities

 

  • If we have allowed our mood or self view to be swayed by the them, now is the opportunity to take regain the initiative.

 

  • Rather than hoping that the world will bring us all we need  we turn things around and consider what we can bring to the situation.

 

  • We can see the Worldly Winds as teachers, spurring us on to develop courage or patience or whatever the situation requires. We welcome the challenge to grow.

 

Dharma Doors

 

This is an image for going beyond the duality of these pairs of opposites. Rather than swinging from one to the other we can looking for an opening into something new:

 

1/ From Gain & Loss into Generosity

 

Turning the game on its’ head – from “what can I get out of this?” into “what can I give here?”.

 

At times like when we are caught in heavy traffic or stuck walking behind a slow or indecisive pedestrian. Rather than guarding our space and looking for gaps, trying to get ahead of others we could try relaxing and opening into the possibility of giving. Maybe we could let someone into the traffic in front of us, perhaps we could engage kindly with the pedestrian in front of us rather can quietly fuming.

 

2/ From Fame & Infamy into Individuality

 

The story of Kusinagara – “that wattle and daub, jungle backwater”

Our popularity will wax and wane and we will never be able to please everyone.

How much we are affected will depend on how much we depend on others opinions

Individuality is about possessing integrity and wholeness

We have a sense of who we are, our priorities and values and act from these

Not the same as individualism – based in getting our own way

Pride and vanity are about what others think of us – Metta comes from self-knowledge and self appreciation and manifests itself through friendliness and cooperation not competition.

 

3/ From Praise & Blame into Truthfulness

 

Reflect on what is true in a situation.

Accept praise graciously and with gratitude – but without intoxication

Look at criticism as frankly as you can – maybe it could have been delivered in a more kindly way – but is there a nugget of truth here? A precious jewel of self knowledge?

By looking for the truth in a situation we can be less emotive and more objective – what we learn may be useful to us and a little detachment may help us to cultivate more equanimity.

 

4/ From Pleasure & Pain into Mindfulness

 

Neither pleasure or pain is inherently “good” or “bad”, both are inevitable and both are impermanent.

The Second Arrow – the first causes pain (inevitable) the second is our response – focusing on the negative experience we make it feel worse.

Unconsciously turning to distraction or pleasure to try to avoid pain doesn’t work – the pain is still waiting “under the carpet” and we know it – this can feel even worse

Mindfully staying with our experience we can develop the joy of equanimity

 

 

Reflections

 

Sitting quietly perhaps during or after meditation we can reflect on these 4 Dharma Doors.

 

Recalling recent events where we have been pushed around by the worldly winds, how would it have change if we could have opened the doors of Generosity, Individuality, Truth or Mindfulness? How might this have felt?

 

What situations in our life might benefit from us recalling the 4 Dharma Doors?