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This Zen Lark

So, how on earth did I get into this Zen lark?

It's a fairly typical story, I should imagine.

I discovered the wonderful power of mindful meditation to manage the stress, pain and uncertainty of this strange condition that we're all on this site discussing.

I'm sure most of you will have discovered your own techniques for dealing with ASD-related anxiety issues. Well, mindfulness is kind of a big deal in the West as a so-called third wave intervention, often complementing CBT-style therapies to help people manage their mental health issues.

So that's how I started in meditation. As for the religious and philosophical aspects of Buddhism, I had been fascinated with that for a while. I saw it as a way to live through the uncertainty of existentialism and the related God-shaped hole left by the collapse of our culture's religious traditions. It's kind of a long story, but in basics, I felt the spiritual vacuum and meaninglessness of life without purpose of a relationship with 'something greater' and I was troubled by the nihilism of our age.

That's the hardcore nonsense over with.

Why am I writing this? Because I'm in training as a Zen priest. I was lucky enough to find a great teacher with a special take on the Dharma (that's Buddha's teaching) that emphasises this world and this time that we find ourselves in. This is down-to-earth, everyday-life Zen of the Linji Chan school. It's about helping ordinary people to develop a practice to help them help themselves and then go on to help others. It's getting together to encourage each other's practice, to offer practical advice and to drink copious amounts of tea. It's about community and friendship and genuine engagement with the ancient practices that can really lighten our lives and bring us onto a good path.

If any of this sounds fascinating, weird, interesting, familiar, strange, wonderful or anything else to you, please do drop me a message.

  • Do you follow a spiritual path?
  • How does it relate to your ASD condition?
  • Have you ever meditated?
  • Would you like advice on your practice?
  • Have you ever wondered just what it is that Buddhists actually believe?

Whatever you want to say or ask, I'd love to hear from you. I'd like to run this blog as a space to share in Dharma and to answer questions and compare notes on practice.

I hope you can stick around :)

Keep safe, well and happy everyone!

Rich

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Comments

Hi I've 'dabbbled' with 'loving kindness' meditation' as a means to forgive myself and others, i don't meditate daily but at times i feel considerably less anxious after i have, my mind is so often in a whirl and atempts to use mindfulness to centre have sometimes helped.
 
Hi I've 'dabbbled' with 'loving kindness' meditation' as a means to forgive myself and others, i don't meditate daily but at times i feel considerably less anxious after i have, my mind is so often in a whirl and atempts to use mindfulness to centre have sometimes helped.
Hi Giraffes,

Thanks for your comment. Yes, that's what I gain from loving-kindness meditation too. It releases tension, reduces the sense of being alone in the world and actually makes me feel fundamentally at home -- in myself, with the people around me and with the world at large. I'm glad you have found it helpful too.

The mad rush of the mind can be brought into a relative peace with time and practice. I think that it is especially helpful for ASD sufferers.

Rich
 
Any advice or links to practice and self awareness would be good as i tend to spend loads of time and energy ruminating on the past and future and overthinking interactions, intend and projections causing anxiety.
 

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ZenTea&Biscuits
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