Categories
meditation

What was your first meditation experience like?

How did your first Meditation go?

I thought it would be interesting to know everyone’s first meditation experience, where did you find out about meditation? where did you first meditate? And what was it like?

plum village monastery, meditation experience, spiritual enlightenment, goal of Buddhism, personal account, Thich Nhat Hanh’s Words Of Wisdom, to meditate, real life mindfulness experience, mindful exercises, inner contentment, development of human consciousness, everyone’s mind matters,
Personal Meditation Experience

My first personal experience with meditation took place at Thích Nhat Hanh’s Monastery called Plum Village in France. It was during a winter retreat where I would spend 3 months learning for the first time this ancient art form we call mindfulness.

How I found my way to spending 3 months with Thich Nhat Hanh was by pure chance. I had met very briefly while walking the Camino Do Santiago a guy who had told me of a special enlightened master living in France.

On returning from the Camino I began a little research and found Thay, as he’s affectionately known, to be inspirational and enlightening with everything he was saying, and relating so much to what I had just personally experienced while walking the Camino. I immediately booked a 3 month stay, having no real idea what to expect. Call it impulsive or a little hasty but sometimes that’s me, I leap before I look.

On arriving my first impressions were of amazement, a Zen Buddhist nun was waiting at the train station for me and a couple of others who had also come to stay, her presence and calmness were awe inspiring. The monastery was clean, calm and nature seemed to thrive everywhere, a few monks we in the gardens dressed in robes and everything seemed just so magical.

plum village monastery, meditation experience, spiritual enlightenment, goal of Buddhism, personal account, Thich Nhat Hanh’s Words Of Wisdom, to meditate, real life mindfulness experience, mindful exercises, inner contentment, development of human consciousness, everyone’s mind matters,

After resting from the journey our first instructions began. Brother Pap gently explaining how we were to watch or follow our breathing, breathing in we are truly aware we are Breathing in. Breathing out we are truly present in breathing out. A small explanation on our posture of sitting crossed legged with a straight spine. It all seemed to sound easy enough. Questions and answers were followed, before the main bell sounded for Meditation in the big hall.

We all flowed into the main hall and started to take our cushions, Monks and Nuns had the first two or three rows with a few cushions set in front of them. We as lay meditators we allocated all the other cushions. I remember thinking, as I took my seat, there were a lot of places maybe 200-250. Slowly almost all the cushions filled up, there were so many monks and nuns it was so impressive, then Thich Nhat Hanh entered with a few attendant monks following. He gracefully entered as if floating or gliding across the floor, perfectly aware of each and ever moment, he paused and looked my direction, like a lions roar, gentle but with such power behind the words, he simple said “Smile” there were at least 20 people sitting around me that really believed he looked directly at them, a personal message from the great man himself. Myself included. It was amazing to feel, but more amazing that so many around me had that exact same experience.

plum village monastery, meditation experience, spiritual enlightenment, goal of Buddhism, personal account, Thich Nhat Hanh’s Words Of Wisdom, to meditate, real life mindfulness experience, mindful exercises, inner contentment, development of human consciousness, everyone’s mind matters,

Everyone had now taken there cushions and were facing the same direction, so all you could look at was the back of someone’s head. A deep gong sounded and reverberated the most awesome sound throughout the meditation hall. Three times the gong sounded, initiating the start of meditation.

I slowly closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths, focusing on breathing in I counted one, that’s right isn’t it, I’m thinking, I’m following the instructions, wow this meditation lark is well easy, follow the breath breathing in, I’ve got it already! Oh Hang on a second…….

I open my eyes and glance at the clock, less than ten seconds had passed…ok, ok, calm now come on refocus.

I close my eyes and breathing in I count one, breathing out I loose my thoughts and start thinking of how many people are here, or some other nonsense. I suddenly realise I’ve lost concentration and open my eyes, not even a minute had gone by.

Ahhhhh I’ve got to do 30 minutes. Ok, ok, calm breathing in count one breathing out mind gone….

And this was the same for the next 30 minutes.

plum village monastery, meditation experience, spiritual enlightenment, goal of Buddhism, personal account, Thich Nhat Hanh’s Words Of Wisdom, to meditate, real life mindfulness experience, mindful exercises, inner contentment, development of human consciousness, everyone’s mind matters,

This was my first first experience, and can still remember it vividly to this day. If it wasn’t for being sat with about 100 monks and nuns and a further 100 or so lay people like you and me. I would have given up before the first minute had passed.

I had just signed up for 3 months of this as well!

My meditation over those 3 months slowly got better and better, my mind of course would still wander, but the monks and nuns had explained I should always be kind with my inner dialogue and bring the attention back to breathing.

I was also introduced to walking meditation which seemed to suit me and I loved to wander the monastery grounds practicing just that. It was while doing exactly this, walking Meditation barefoot in the snow, that I quite literally bumped into Thich Nhat Hanh doing exactly the same thing, He motioned me to sit next to him on a log. I didn’t feel nervous or apprehensive in any way, it just felt like I was returning to my mothers arms, honestly it was just so comfortable and secure to be in his presence. He told me three things that day, that would ultimately changed my entire life, and led to my own ordination as a Buddhist monk. I shall tell you just one of those 3 things he said to me, and that was to “smile more” maybe, just maybe he really did pick me out of a crowd, on that very first day. But now that’s just my ego talking.

I really hope you feel compelled to tell me you first experience of meditation and how it went for you. It really can’t be as bad as mind, can it? Although I do think I was incredibly lucky to of spent so long in the company of one of life’s true enlightened masters, I know it’s the reason I strive so hard today. Because I know it’s possible.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

plum village monastery, meditation experience, spiritual enlightenment, goal of Buddhism, personal account, Thich Nhat Hanh’s Words Of Wisdom, to meditate, real life mindfulness experience, mindful exercises, inner contentment, development of human consciousness, everyone’s mind matters,
Dhamma Tapasa
Categories
meditation

108 Defilements or Poisons of the Mind

The defilements of our minds

It is said there are 108 defilements, impure thoughts or unwholesome qualities to our minds. In Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism the use of Mala Beads consisting of 108 small wooden balls represents the impurities or defilements of our minds and are traditional used to count the number breaths while meditating or to keep count of the repetition of a mantra.

Mala Beads, unwholesome qualities, deadly sins, changing consciously, Everyone’s Mind Matters, the klesas’s, earthly desires, impurities of thought, personal development through mindfulness, six sense doors, unhealthy states of consciousness, 108 defilements of mind, 108 Handmade Mala Beads by Dhamma Tapasa

How do we come by 108 Defilements?

We experience everything through our 6 senses of sight, sound, taste, smell, touch and our consciousness. With these individual senses we experience them in three ways either negative, positive, or neutral which make 18 feelings. These 18 feelings can either be attached to pleasure or detached from pleasure making 36 passions. These 36 passions can be formed in the past, future or present making a total of 108 negative qualities or defilements of mind.

The 108 Defilements Of Mind

These pollutions or states of mind can cause us no end of suffering, however each are subject to impermanence, a forever changing state, one of The Three Facts Of Our Life’s Existence , with realisation of impermanence we see the suffering caused by attaching to impermanent objects material or not, this leads to a realisation of the Non self or egoless, spiritual enlightenment.

Presented in alphabetical order, these are the list of 108 unwholesome qualities of our minds.

A-Z 108 Defilements

Abuse – of substance or person or animal

Aggression – the action of attacking without provocation

Anger – a very strong feeling of displeasure or outrage at something or someone

Arrogance – exaggerated experience of ones own importance

Baseness – lack of moral principles

Belittlement – to make someone feel less important than yourself

Blasphemy – speaking badly about sacred or religious things

Calculating – to be calculating in ones actions towards another.

Callousness – insensitive and cruel towards others

Capriciousness – impulsive and unpredictable

Censoriousness – to find wrongs in everything

Conceit – excessive pride in oneself

Contempt – a disregarding Of something or someone

Cruelty – behaviour that cause physics or mental harm to others animal or human

Cursing – to cause offence usually associated with anger

Deception – to mislead or misguide someone

Delusion – maintaining belief in something despite that of rational argument and proof

Denial – the refusal of the truth

Derision – ridicule or mockery

Desire – strong feeling of wanting or wishing

Deviousness – to be deceitful and underhanded

Dipsomania – interment bouts of alcoholism

Discontent – dissatisfaction with ones circumstances

Discord – lack of harmony with others

Disrespectful – showing a lack of courtesy to others and possessions

Dissatisfaction – the lack of satisfaction

Dogmatism – the tendency to lay down principles as truth, without evidence or opinions of others.

Effrontery – impertinent behaviour

Egotism – excessively conceited or absorbed in oneself

Envy – a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck

Excessiveness – going beyond what is necessary or needed

Faithlessness – betrayal or disloyalty of moral or religious principles

Falseness – the quality of not be open and truthful

Fame – a state of being known and admired by many

Gambling – the act of risking for a greater reward

Garrulity – excessive talkativeness

Gluttony – overindulgence, excess of food, luxury or wealth

Greed – greed of money, possessions

Grudgingly – in a reluctant or resentful manner

Hard heartedly – lacking in sympathy or compassion

Hatred – an intense dislike

Haughtiness – arrogantly superior

Headiness – intoxication or inhibiting of the senses

High handedness – showing no sign of regard to the rights of others

Hostility – unfriendly or opposing tactics

Humiliation – to shame and humiliate others.

Hurtfulness – to cause pain or injury especially psychological

Hypocrisy – the claiming of higher standards than upholding

Ignorance – lack of knowledge or information

Imperiousness – domineering in a haughty manner, dictatorial and overbearing

Imposture – pretending to be someone or something other than yourself

Inattentiveness – without paying attention or particular notice

Indifference – lack of interest concern or sympathy

Ingratitude – a disagreeable lack of thanks

Insidiousness – intending entrapment of harmful rumours or misinformation

Instability – tendencies towards unpredictable behaviour

Intolerance – unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behaviour that differ from one’s own

Impudence – being rude and disrespectful

Impulsive – actions done suddenly and without forethought

Irresponsibility – lack of a proper sense of care or responsibility

Jealousy – of others

Lechery – to lecture at people

Lying – to oneself or others

Lust – lust for the flesh, money, fame

Manipulation – to manipulate ones dealings with others

Masochism – to derive sexual gratification from one’s own pain or humiliation

Melancholy – a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause

Mendacity – untruthfulness

Mercilessness – having or showing no mercy, pity

Negativity – criticism or pessimism over something

Obsession – the continual preoccupation of idea or thought

Obstinacy – a stubbornness within ones mind

Oppression – prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or exercise of authority

Ostentatiousness – pretentious show in an attempt to impress others

Pessimism – a tendency to see the worst aspect of things

Power – the ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others and there actions.

Prejudice – preconceived opinion not based on experience or reason

Presumption – arrogant and disrespectful to the limits of what is permitted appropriate

Pretence – to make something that is not the case appear true

Pride – satisfaction in ones own achievement and successes

Prodigality – excessive or wasteful spending

Quarrelsomeness – the continuous argument of everything

Rage – uncontrollable violent anger

Rapacity – aggressive greed

Ridicule – to subject someone to contemptuous language or behaviour

Sadism – inflicting pain and suffering on oneself or others

Sarcasm – the use of irony to mock

Seduction – temptation in attractiveness by means of a lesser form of manipulation

Sexual Misconduct – with oneself and others partners our spouses

Shamelessness – behavior marked by a bold defiance of the lack of shame

Showoff – to boastfully display ones abilities

Spitefulness – desire to inflict injury or harm someone either physical or mental

Stinginess – unwilling to share with others

Stubbornness – sticking to one’s views, attitude or position on something or someone

Terrorise – to inflict mental of physical pain to animal or person

Torment – a continuation of something that causes suffering mentally

Tyranny – cruel and oppressive rule or control

Uncomprehending – the inability to grasp something even after logically argument

Uncompromising – unwillingness to make concessions for others

Unfriendliness – a state of being hostile towards others

Unyieldingness – inflexible in ones views or opinions

Vanity – excessive pride in ones appearance or achievements

Vindictiveness – to hold strong feelings of revenge towards someone

Violence – to cause or inflict violence of any form.

Voluptuousness – being lush and abundant to the pleasure senses

Wrathful – characterised by excess rage or anger

If you see any inaccuracies or indeed can think of anymore defilements or unwholesome qualities of mind then please contribute by leaving a comment below.

kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa