Thursday, March 18, 2010

Against the Stream

I read something today that may have changed my life. When I went to SCC I loathed the schools newspaper. Over the years I have learned to just walk right past any newer editions. Reading that paper put you at risk of being bombarded by horrible english, and in many cases, terribly offensive articles. Today, was different. Different school different day different paper. I had a bunch of time to kill after my (terrible) french test. I grabbed a copy of the Sacramento News and Review, the UC Davis Extension and the ARC newspaper (why the heck not!?). I sat down and started reading the front cover. Read a pretty decent article about a recent protest at the capital and plans for the upcoming one on March 22nd (which I will be attending and am so excited!). 
Click picture for more info on Geshe Thupten Phelgye

I was initially drawn to the paper because of the big pictures of a happy little buddhist monk on the cover. I have been interested in buddhism for the past few years after reading Dharma Punx and Noah Levin's second book Against the Stream (both books I highly recommend!).  I have really been struggling with life since my break up 2 months ago. The most recent installment of road bumps concerning the break up has been the left over anger and confusion I harbor towards him. A constant question of "why?". Feeling like I am living in such chaos in my mind as a result. I have been thinking of ways to start practicing meditation again. I had difficulty keeping thoughts out of my head and navigating through all the noise. School, me, love, family, school, me love, family..ahhh!

" Isolation is not necessary for meditation. Real mediation is not about blocking the face of your enemy is the time to meditate." said Geshe Thupten Phelgye.

The only thing that leaves me hanging, which I will meditate on is, if meditation is not about blocking out, then what is it? Are we embracing the noise? I have read that when your mind starts to drift during meditation you acknowledge that it has drifted, said to yourself that its ok and simply and peacefully bring your attention back to the breath. Dr. Phelgye also says that most of the suffering we endure is a result of ignorance. Ignorance is the lack of knowledge, education or awareness. I decided that "A" is a test. When I met him I felt comfortable in my practicing of this philosophy. I thought I had things figured out with life when I met A. I feel it has nothing to do with him itself but gaining the knowledge and awareness of dealing with noise and compassion when I am uneasy or feel wronged. I have had a lot of thoughts on him and this entire ordeal in the past few days. I feel like slowly its becoming really clear. When it all comes down to it, life is really what Dr. Phelgye says in the article, "peace, love, and compassion." I will strive to my dying day to have those for all things and people through knowledge and education.

Have you ever studied this? Do you have any good links or suggestions to resources on meditation and buddhist philosophy? I am regaining such an appetite for this again.


  1. BOTH of those books are in the mail for me now! haha, I'm so excited to read them and very inspired by this :)

  2. I've never read about it, but I'm glad you found some articles you like!

  3. So, what I have come to realize about meditation and "blocking out noises and thoughts" is that it is learning to live moment by moment. You do eventually learn to accept the noise and acknowledge the thoughts. It is about accepting the moment for what it is and what you make of it. Think about tai-chi, it is a flow of movements. The thoughts and sounds is the energy around you and when you meditate you are going through a flow of acknowledging and accepting things for that moment.

    Well, that is my thought anyways.... take it or leave it.... but maybe at least give it a thought hahaha

    Good luck honey!