On Thursday I attended the first meeting of the Creative Meditation and Buddhism Society. There were three of us in attendance, including the person guiding us (in my experience, those running courses don’t like to be called teachers – perhaps because we’re all teachers and all learners?).
(The person guiding us, like all people mentioned here, will be down under a fake name, Karasu. It means compassion & contains letters found within his name. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get round to giving him this blog link, but in case I do, I just wanted to make that disclaimer here. )
It wasn’t as structured this week as the Monday class I attend, which created a nice contrast and gave it a slightly more relaxed atmosphere. The beginning half was spent discussing some differences between Paganism, Christianity and Buddhism, which is always a good starting point.
We then used a technique which began with a D.. Though Google says Shiatsu which sounds similar.. A kind of tapping and massaging of the body with the intent to be aware of the body. Having been a magic practitioner for a good few years, I found this to be a useful and intriguing technique. My own energy work rarely involves physical contact and the difference was noticeable to me.
When we started tapping the head, I smiled in remembrance of EFT Tapping.
We then did a slow walking meditation, which was a first for me. I still struggle with the breath and concentration, but it gives me something to work on. I’ve walked to college and meditated, focusing wholly on the feel of each footstep, and the birdsong around me, but I found it hard to be aware. I had to focus on Karasu’s voice, then as he directed us to focus on our senses, my feet on the floor, then the sounds – I couldn’t step back and just Be as well as walking. I can sing a song while reading, so I know my mind is capable of multitasking and although it involves focusing on one thing, perhaps that would be the next step. While I’m focused on that one thing, trying to sense the others too.
Relating to the discussion, Karasu asked many good questions intending to make us really think about the topic, but one specific question made me smile as it was something I’d yet to think of.
It was along to lines of “What would your definition of divine be?”
Having been brought up in a religious family, I’ve never actually asked this question – changing only my beliefs as to the nature of divinity; not what actually can be classed as Divine.
Please forgive the scholar-esque approach, I’ll keep it brief.
The Collins English Dictionary states:
Divinity – study of religion
Divinities (plural) – God.
(Surely the plural of Study of Religion should be Studies of Religions, no? =P)
This led to:
God (noun) 1. spirit or being worshipped as having supernatural power.
That last definition sounds about right for my opinion of divinity… although I don’t agree with the term ‘supernatural’.
In my opinion, since magnetism was seen to be a form of magic until science explained it, nothing is outside of natural.
Supernatuaral 1. of or relating to things beyond the laws of nature..
Nature 1. whole system of the existence, forces and events of the physical world that are not controlled by human beings.
The three cases of divinity I explained prior to this were imminent, transcendent and manifest. On the imminent and manifest levels, I guess this fits. The God hovering above the earth controlling things doesn’t have Physical form (or is invisible, whichever fits your truth better). If it’s not Physical, it isn’t within (not necessarily beyond, but certainly doesn’t remind within the parameters of) nature.
For those who believe plants and humans are divine, this poses a completely separate issue, which I’m not even going to attempt to discuss. I’m not erudite and at this moment in time, I’ve enough questions to be discovering.
I guess when I say divine, I mean magic: Intuition, fate, energy, the laws of physics working toward making us better (the definition of magic in my mind). It’s the use of magic without conscious thought.
Chi isn’t conscious so I guess that is a part of divine (using my definition), but energy work (manipulating/guiding chi) is just the connecting with that divinity, so not a divine act as it used intervention. That’s another part I suppose. If takes effort to Intervene with the laws of nature. Fate is said to guide, karma is said to work within its own rules – similar to The Law Of Attraction (see The Secret by Rhonda Byrne).
It’s a very good question and one I doubt I’ll ever truly be able to answer but in attempting,
The subject of judgement came up. A comment that ‘the Buddha didn’t judge but a lot of God-figures appear to be judging’ was made. This struck a chord with me.
I guess for me, the Goddess is a mother. She’ll tell me I’m being a moron, send me “don’t be lazy” sign but still be a good listener and aid me if she can. She won’t judge me when I make a mistake but say “look at what you can learn and maybe next time you’ll do better. She won’t give reward without my deserving it, but she’s not going to punish me for being human.
She may disapprove, but will support me.
“You’re being an idiot and going to be upset later, but I’ll come with you and you can come cry on me and I’ll be here to listen so you can work it out for yourself”.
Same goes for the God, though he has less of a figure at the moment.
As I said in a previous post:
“We view our God/dess with human characteristics. They can be angry, lustful, happy, sad, good or bad, just like humans. Many of them had sex, some even die and are reborn. They are shape shifters and can take any form. They aren’t perfect or all-knowing, but they keep a close watch on their children.”
I didn’t feel threatened by any of the questions or comments; but like my thirst for knowledge, I also desperately want to be understood – and that’s where I ramble on at such a fast pace, no one understands me.
Oh the irony. =)
We also discussed taking the Bible seriously. That the stories of the bible have symbolic truth, but taking them in a.. literal sense can be damaging. I know a couple of Christians read this, so if you can shed light, please feel free to add your opinions.
I’ll no doubt continue this next week,