Charlotte’s insights – foundation programme student, teacher and Buddhist practitioner of 7 years
Attending Buddhist meditation classes for me has been quite a journey. It’s like nothing I’ve ever done before, guiding me gently and repeatedly to come face-to-face with my own mind, to be real and honest with myself whilst inspiring me along the way with the strength and courage to do this.
Overcoming bad habits of mind
My persistent habit of pleasing, perfectionism and ways of approaching life that I thought were me, and were the only ways, are coming gradually into the spotlight. Observing more and more clearly how these manifest, in which situations, and within the spaciousness of growing patience, I’m seeing how these bad habits of mind maintain their hold and I feel more able to overcome these habits.
From this new position, I’m learning that I can gradually and gently release them, understanding from my own experience how they have no helpful function and that I can simply let them fall away. They are not who I am. Seeing this gives me space to create something new, experience new ways of being that I could not have imagined before.
“Delusions are just bad habits, and like all bad habits they can be broken.”
– Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Eight Steps to Happiness
Finding space to breathe
This process is gradual, it is gentle and it is very kind. It accepts that thoughts and feelings are there, and welcomes them graciously, as it’s only by seeing and accepting them that I can start to let them go. This is not the way I normally approach things! I’m learning that there are new ways to be, and through this comes the peace and clarity of knowing I’m enough.
Others have noticed a difference too!
Within this new space, a whole new world begins to open up. Stepping out of this me-centred view gives room to breathe and opens up subtleties of experience that I could not see before. From a space of greater peace, I’m learning to see others, connect with them at deeper levels and hear and feel their experiences as if they were my own. I feel more present in my relationships, and others have pointed this out!
Coming into alignment
The frustration of not feeling like I’m good enough, doing enough, being enough, is lessening, and this pressure is lifting. It doesn’t matter what’s happening, there’s a lesson to be learnt from everything, which I can notice and rejoice in.
As I grow in experience, the different parts of life feel more aligned, as each one is helping me to become more patient, more kind and more connected. I don’t have to be different people in different places, a complex person trying to be liked or needed. I can just be someone with an intention to grow good qualities in each part of my life. With this simplicity of experience has come peace and meaning, and I feel extremely fortunate to have this.
Looking to overcome bad habits of mind?
We run regular meditation classes that will help you recognise these bad habits of mind, as well as giving you the tools to recognise, reduce and abandon them.
If you want to learn more about Buddha’s teachings, visit Meditate With Us for weekly meditation classes, as well as weekend meditation courses and meditation retreats available to those in Southampton, Hampshire, Winchester, Dorset & Isle of Wight.