As some of you know, a couple of months ago I stubbed my toe badly on a Hoover and had to take some time off work. As I travelled back from my Mum’s house in North Wales, I began letting people know that I would not be able to teach on Monday. I was a bit disappointed because I love my job but I could barely walk so that was the way it was.
Once I had sent some texts out to those of you in my text group, and made an announcement on Ashtanga Yoga Liverpool’s Facebook page, I resumed reading a book by Brad Warner, Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock Monster Movies & the Truth About Reality
This is the first book I have read by Brad but I have been curious about him for a while. Brad is a Zen teacher who is also into punk rock, he works at least during the time scale of his Hardcore Zen book in the monster movie industry in Japan. He writes about Zen in a direct, simple and humerous way. He can be fairly opinionated which is unusual in spiritual teachers but I like his direct approach. His blog can be found in the right side bar of this blog or here.
I was reading his book on the train, in pain and maybe a little frustrated I came across this line
“Suffering occurs when your idea about how things ought to be don’t match how they really are.” Brad Warner
Hmm, what a great one liner. How true. As I sat on the train I reflected that my suffering mostly came from my brains interpretation of the pain. When I stopped and observed the pain for what it was, sensation and lost the stories in my head my situation wasn’t so bad. I was on the train home after a lovely weekend with family. I had the day off, I could have some me time.
Since that moment on the train, whenever I have caught myself sad, frustrated etc, I have worked instead on acknowledging what the moment I am in is actually like, rather than what I think it should be like. We could spend our whole lives waiting for that perfect moment in our heads or we could be in this one. The above example is not a particularly challenging life event but if we work with minor problems I believe it will get easier to apply this wisdom to bigger ones. Yoga and or meditation helps us to more present in these moments so that we notice them and stand a better chance of actually being HERE.
Have you read anything interesting recently?