Yesterday a friend and I went to the Buddhist Centre in Leicester for a day of meditation.
The course was entitled ‘Let Go of the Past’.
The centre is a beautiful, restful space just behind Leicester Cathedral where the bones of Richard III now lie buried. Our arrival was serenaded by the sound of the cathedral bells joyfully ringing out.
We started with a cappuccino for me and a lemon and ginger tea for my friend, in the light airy cafe.
Our tutor was called Pet. A lovely lady who immediately made me feel at ease as I sat on the front row of the meditation room, with maybe about 60 other meditators.
Pet said she’s always tempted to mix up the pairs of shoes that are lined up at the entrance to the meditation room, which made us laugh.
The first part of the day was about Attachment and Non Attachment. Pet pointed out that we all get attached to things that are outside of ourselves that we think will make us happy.
She used the example of seeing someone we are attracted to – our heart might start to flutter, we might go pink and feel flustered.
This reaction is caused by our thinking and originates because we want to have that person in our life.
This might seem normal, but it’s an aspect of grasping. It comes from our ego.
Pet used the example of having a bird in a cage. If we keep the door of the cage closed so our bird cannot escape, if it ever gets a chance to fly away, it will do so and probably never come back.
If we leave the cage door open so the bird feels free to come and go as it pleases, it is more likely to enjoy our company and return to the open cage in order to enjoy our company again.
Non attachment means that we don’t need things to be permanent. We enjoy them while they are there and accept that they are not going to be around for ever.
Of course this doesn’t mean that we don’t form committed relationships.
But we allow the person the freedom to be their true self within the relationship.
After the talk we meditated for about 15 minutes.
Afterwards I felt relaxed and ready for a delicious lunch in the World Peace Cafe. We ate vegetable moussaka with salad and mozzarella cheese followed by lemon cheese cake.
The afternoon was similarly relaxed and inspiring.
We left, like the free birds that we are!