I was given many gifts this weekend, and although I already shared a few in previous posts, I want to give two specific lessons their own space.
The Muffin: As me and my friend were talking over tea, we started discussing the concept of belief systems. She pointed to the muffin between us on the table and said “This is a muffin only because generations of people have agreed that this is called a muffin.” We don’t ever question it and consistently use that name for that object. It is exactly how we accept beliefs that our families, cultures, communities and societies have given us and we adopt them as our own and as an inarguable truth. In fact it is an arguable truth and we can choose to believe another way. Yes it is easier said than done when deeply ingrained beliefs are being challenged, especially when we are not even conscious of those beliefs, but nonetheless it is possible. So I ask myself, and you, “What is your muffin?”
Thoughts: The dharma teacher for that night was answering a student’s question regarding how to work with thoughts during meditation. She explained that our brain is an organ and one of its jobs is to excrete thoughts. When we follow our thoughts we aren’t being in the present moment. I don’t know how it happened, but it occurred to me that whenever I am thinking something out or thinking some thing through it’s because I am trying to justify how to not let that something go. When I mentioned this to her, she added that in addition to letting things go, I can also opt to let things be.
I am so grateful for the insightful conversations and the dharma.