I have been participating in Bhante Pannnasiri’s Tuesday meditation class for the past few months. When I wrote my first blog documenting my first experience in the class, I wrote about how amazing it was and how difficult It was to control my wandering thoughts. Over time, I have been thinking about how I can use Buddhist meditation to combat trauma, personal challenges, and grief. When we look at the news, we are often swarmed with images of violence and despair that can make us feel very depressed. I wanted to explore how Buddhist meditation could help work through or alleviate these feelings. Throughout this journey, I have been asking more and more questions about meditation and its effectiveness.
How can one meditate when it seems that their world is falling apart? How can one be still if constantly burdened with seemingly never-ending responsibilities? Within the classes, Bhante focuses on the Buddhist idea of recognizing change by detaching yourself from things that will ultimately change – which is everything. I have learned that this is easier said than done. How can you detach from something or someone you love? Is that even possible? How do we detach and love at the same time? What does it mean to detach ourselves? The reality and fear of losing things and loved ones seem unshakable. How can we overcome this? These are all questions that I have pondered and continually think about throughout my meditation journey. I am learning that acknowledging change is not easy, but it must be done.
I believe that meditating offers the opportunity to focus on the present in the face of a rapidly changing human experience. When we can acknowledge and accept change, we can maintain an unwavering level of peace and stability within our lives. For those of us who have experienced trauma or who may be dealing with personal hardships, Buddhist meditation helps us understand that change is always taken place, which means that even our hardships will not be long-lasting. Even with our experiences of trauma, we can center ourselves on acknowledging the change that comes with our feelings, emotions, and experiences. This will allow us to focus on the present moment and the joy of the little things in life.
Meditating is still very hard, and every day I am pushing myself to detach and acknowledge change while living in the present. I am excited about the growth that I will experience through this journey.