Using Buddhism to tackle stressful moments
Take a posture that’s dignified but relaxed: Sit up straight, but feel the weight on the earth and feel grounded. Now connect with your breath. Tune into the natural rhythmic cycle of your breathing and let that breath center you in the present moment. When you get distracted, say “thinking” to yourself and come back to the breath. You are now ready to start walking like a Buddha…
It’s easy to be confused when you spot a book called “Walk Like a Buddha” — does Buddha even walk? But its author, Lodro Rinzler, has practiced Buddhism since he was 11 and might convince you to adopt some of those holy moves.
“The Buddha walks with a sense of being present with what is. And that’s what the book communicates. How much can we show up and manifest and be there for our life? Even when our boss is yelling at us, even when we are making love, even when we are out with friends on a Friday night,” Rinzler says of his book, which is a compilation of questions people have asked Rinzler.
The questions revolve around five points: How to get a meditation practice going (which you already now know from the beginning of this article), and how to apply your meditation practice to going out, your romantic life, your social action and your work. Rinzler said he looked for “common themes” when choosing which questions to feature.
One that the author was particularly struck by was “I don’t feel worthy of being loved.” Based on his experiences, that feeling, he says, most often originates with something underneath — that the person has been told he or she is not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, whatever it might be. Rinzler feels that it’s a general issue in our country.
“The Buddha’s point of view is that we are. We all posses the same seed for waking up, becoming in mind like the Buddha. He was not so special. We could do that too. We could have faith in a basic goodness or a basic worthiness,” Rinzler says.
The author thinks it’s worth a try to meditate and see if it can change something for you. If it doesn’t, though, that’s OK too.
“More often than not, if you actually do sit down [and take] even just 10 minutes to meditate, you start to notice a gradual change in yourself,” he says. “You start to notice that you are being more present when you are having a conversation with someone. You are less reactive. And that feels liberating.”
It helped him a lot, especially when his father became ill. Through meditation he realized that the most powerful thing he could do was to just be present for his father instead of constantly trying to talk to all the doctors and fix all situations.
“The question is, do we always have to try to manipulate and control our situation? And the answer is no. The more we meditate and the more we realize that we can actually [be] with things as they are, we see the most skillful way to act. We are not acting from what we think needs to happen but in occurrence with the way things are.”
Food for thought for next stressful subway commute, day or work or moment at home.