Part One :
Had a trying day, feels difficult sometimes to feel love for your neighbour. They paid for someone to come into our garden & chop down our flowering roses, pull up our clematis & our raspberries then dump the branches on top of my tree fern that has been happily growing for 5 years.
They don’t even live here, they bought the flat above us & rent it for most of the year as a holiday flat, they come for roughly a fortnight a year & I dread it when they do cause they stomp around like they own the place. Just cause they’re wealthy & we’re poor doesn’t give them the right to go into our garden & cut down our plants they don’t like without even consulting us.
They seem to be the kind of humans who have a weird phobia about vegetation, & like gardens to be dead artificial concrete slabs & gravel, they are obsessed with tidiness. However nature doesn’t like tidiness, it is random & messy. Yeah the raspberries, roses & clematis were growing bushy, but we left it like that on purpose cause the wildlife likes it like that, it’s good for the insects, the birds & the hedgehogs.
Besides, whether it looks untidy or not is none of their concern. The garden doesn’t belong to them, it belongs to us, we own it, we paid for it. It’s private property & it’s on our deeds.
I really want to give them a piece of my mind, but realize doing this in my current angry state of mind might make things worse. I’ve been here before & losing my temper with neighbours never ends well. I will sleep on it & have a word with them tomorrow. The damage is done now, but I will quietly & firmly remind them the garden is ours & they are tresspassing & what they did was out of order.
Grrrrr… it is hard to feel love & peace when shit like this happens. I am still trying to get the hang of right speech, the 3rd step on the 8 fold path. This is why I am not going to confront my neighbours now… I need to calm down & meditate & come at it from the right angle.
The meditation definitely helps. I look at my mind as being a bit like the weather. Sometimes there’s a storm, other times drizzle or rain, sometimes it’s a bit cloudy & other times sunny.
One of the noble truths is impermanence. Nothing lasts in this world, possessions break or wear out, they can go rusty or get stolen. The human body ages & eventually dies, there is nothing in this world which is permanent. One day this Earth will be swallowed up by the sun & eventually the sun will also cease to exist.
It is the same with my moods. They come & go, just like the weather. Earlier on I was a thunderstorm, but now the storm has passed & the air is calm.
One thing I like about practising Buddhism is you don’t have to believe in God, it is a practical religion. A path anyone can walk whatever they believe.
Regaining focus, you see something for what it is, I.e. today it was I’m just feeling anger, which is OK, just thought & emotion, a reaction to something impermanent. I have to remember everything is impermanent, the world is always changing, I will never feel happy & end suffering if I am depending on something impermanent to make me happy & secure.
Thoughts & emotions are impermanent, it’s OK to feel them, but I have to remember I have a choice, I don’t have to get stuck in an unhappy loop if I don’t want to, I can just let them go.
Thoughts & feelings can be like clouds, they will all eventually dissipate, dissolve, if you watch them you see the drama in your head for what it is – just thoughts.
I find Buddhism helps me. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea. I like it cause it is practical, it feels like something attainable, something if you put the effort in, you can learn & master. It is simple. When you understand the 4 noble truths & the 8 fold path, you don’t need to know anything else, just that knowledge. That is the mental map & you just have to follow it. You won’t get there overnight, it will take time, it doesn’t matter how long it takes, it isn’t a race, you follow the path at your own pace, you have to be gentle & patient with yourself.
I still fuck up, nobody is perfect, but I don’t beat myself up about it. When I catch myself in an unhappy loop, I just see it for what it is & this then gives me the power to let it go & get on with something else. Each time I regain focus it is a victory & my mind grows a little stronger, like exercising a muscle, & each time I find focus & insight & see it for what it is, even if it is only for 10 seconds in a 30 minute meditation session, I’m walking a bit further along the path.
There is no hurry, a journey happens one step at a time. Just keep practising, no session is wasted, even if you find it almost impossible to focus, you are making progress. Just be gentle & patient with yourself.