Submitted by alistair on Fri, 17/01/2014 - 10:25am.
"Loneliness is no particular colour - a mountain of black pines on an autumn evening." Bashō.
As I proposed in the earlier blog, loneliness is co-created by the society we live in. There are other cultures, for example, where solitude (loneliness’ twin) is considered highly-prized. The early Buddhists saw sitting alone under a forest tree or in a mountain cave as being a perfect place to be. Similarly, the 17th century Zen poet, Bashō made much of the quality of sabi which he saw as the underlying quality of all human existence; a bitter-sweet solitude which was colourless and profound. Thoreau, living alone out on Walden pond in the America of the 19th century, also prized his experience, turning our idea of loneliness up on its head: “I have a great deal of company in my house; especially in the morning, when nobody calls.”
Submitted by alistair on Thu, 16/01/2014 - 9:04am.
This is a series of essays on a subject that i’m interested in exploring in 2014: loneliness. Last year at Mindsprings we concentrated a lot of anxiety and how mindfulness can work to lessen the pain around this ubiquitous experience. This year I would like to concentrate on loneliness.
Submitted by alistair on Mon, 23/12/2013 - 9:22pm.
Ram Dass, faced by a rather smug bunch of his students, once said: "You think you're enlightened? Go and spend a week with your parents.."
Ajahn Sumedho, perhaps the most pre-eminent Western teacher in the Thai Forest Sangha tradition, abbot of many monasteries, and often seen as a the successor of Luang Por Chah, left the Thai forest to travel back to the USA to look after his ailing father for the holidays. When he opened the door to Sumedho, 6'7" in his resplendent ochre robes, the father snarled: "I don't care who you think you are elsewhere. Here, in this house, I am boss. Understood?"
Christmas is the most powerful time to observe that particular human magnetism that we call the Family Gathering and the effect it has on our mind.