Fear is born from arming oneself. Just see how many people fight! I’ll tell you about the dreadful fear that caused me to shake all over: Seeing creatures flopping around, Like fish in water too shallow, So hostile to one another!
Seeing this, I became afraid. This world completely lacks essence; It trembles in all directions. I longed to find myself a place unscathed but I could not see it. Seeing people locked in conflict, I became completely distraught. But then I discerned here a thorn
Hard to see, lodged deep in the heart. It’s only when pierced by this thorn That one runs in all directions. So if that thorn is taken out one does not run, and settles down.
Who here has crossed over desires, the world’s bond, so hard to get past, he does not grieve, she does not mourn. His stream is cut, she’s all unbound. What went before, let go of that! All that’s to come, have none of it!
Don’t hold on to what’s in between, and you’ll wander fully at peace. For whom there is no ‘I-making’ all throughout the body and mind, And who grieves not for what is not is undefeated in the world. For whom there is no ‘this is mine’ nor anything like ‘that is theirs’, not even finding ‘self-ness,’ he does not grieve at ‘I have nothing.’
My name is Gwyddion Flint, I’m a British writer, artist and educator. (Links to previous writing and artwork can be found here)
Later this year I will be ordaining as a monk within the Theravada tradition of Buddhism. The reason for starting this blog was in order to record the process in detail and to continue to write and talk about Buddhism in general.
Despite planning to ordain in the Theravada tradition I also have an affinity for the Zen tradition, which was my first encounter with Buddhism and has taught me many things about meditation, which I have integrated into my Vipassana meditation practice.
Despite my plan to ordain within a Buddhist monastery system, I still see the benefits of a ‘secular Buddhism’ of which the Buddhist researcher Stephen Batchelor advocates, and of a scientific Buddhism of which the author Robert Wright advocates. I am somewhat of a naturalist when it comes to Buddhism, and I don’t see the use of debating the reality of those things that are not provable or are not experienceable. For me Buddhism is pragmatic, the Four Noble Truths for example should be seen as something to do.
I’m currently based at Wat Mahathat Buddhist Vihara, located in Kings’s Bromley in the U.K. where I will be teaching English, Philosophy, Meditation, and Yoga and generally being helpful.
Please feel free to ask me any questions, or even to visit!
Below is a selection of yoga postures and postural exercises intended to help with flexibility and comfort while sitting in meditation. They will not help you sit in lotus pose immediately, but are intended to help with posture and comfort progressively over time, the more you do them the more they work and eventually they will allow your hips and legs to settle into lotus pose Continue reading
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Buddhism has this uncanny (but useful) obsession with numbers, I believe this is because as it originated as an oral tradition, using groups of specific numbers would have helped the early Dhamma practitioners to remember vast amounts of rather complicated information and concepts. Continue reading
Most of us will have seen that person with a Buddha tattoo on her arm or a colourful t-shirt with the Buddha’s face on it. Perhaps even, as we are trying to hold ourselves in the downward dog position, caught the eye of the plastic Buddha statue residing in the corner of some yoga studio. But this is not a rant about the evils of ‘cultural appropriation’, much the opposite, this article will explain that without the cultural appropriation of Buddhism during the many long years since Shakyamuni’s parinirvana, the practice as we know it would not exist today. In fact it might not exist at all. As we shall see, the practice and the outward appearance of that practice are very different things. Continue reading
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