Reply To: Hello! I’m happy to be here

  • Lucy Fleetwood

    July 21, 2023 at 4:30 pm

    Hi Andrei,

    That is all so good to hear. Yes, I meditated in a simple way for about 15 years daily, having a number of experiences and bumping into various Buddhist groups throughout that time. I never intended to become a Buddhist. But one day in my early 40’s I thought, I need to find a pathway and go deeper, I need a teacher, to see what that is like. I spent a year going to lots of events and groups with a deep knowing that I would feel it in my bones (if that makes sense) when I met the right teacher for me. I went to Satsangs, the quakers, Buddhist groups and even the Abbey where I lived, as well as various spiritual teachers that leant into the new age movement. But I didn’t feel any of them in my bones. So I let go and decided that perhaps I had got the idea of meeting a teacher and specific pathway wrong. Then a year later, I thought I would like to meditate with a group again – I had a strong practice of 15 years meditating morning and evening and taking that into my days and nights. I went to the end of the road and round the corner to a meditation group. It happened to be a Buddhist group.

    I should give a little context to what I’m about to say. I had been going deaf from my mid 30’s, I’m not completely deaf, but I have lost a fair bit of my hearing in both ears, and prior to getting hearing aids, as the silence grew stronger, I noticed over a period of years that the sound of the silence, the vibration of it, changed depending on where I was and who I was with. When the situation or person was very heart based, my body would respond to the sound of the silence, the vibration of it, as if I was listening to the dawn chorus.

    Well when I sat with this little group of people in calm abiding meditation (counting the breaths), the sound of silence was just like that, my body was responding as if I was listening to the dawn chorus. This experience became stronger and stronger with each week that went by, and then one evening I had an experience that left me in no doubt that this was the pathway for me. And I took refuge, because I could feel it in my bones.

    After 3 years of strong practice and teachings, I stepped back to process some ego things that had arisen, to give myself time to reflect. I joined a completely different Buddhist group that a friend belonged to. This coincided with my two sons taking off into the world and me taking a gap year that became 3. The space and reflection I took lasted 7 years! But throughout the whole time there was a connection with the lama that I took refuge with, quietly on the inside of my mind. I would see him in my dreams or when I woke in the middle of the night with a reflection about Buddhism and life, and there was always an answer to my questions and reflections. Then the time came when I new without a doubt that it was time to get in touch with my root lama and ask if I could be his student again. He replied, “You never left the path”.

    I never felt any doubt in my heart and bones in relation to my lama or the lamas in the lineage that I am rooted in, but I did have the need to step back and take a good look at other groups and where that took me in my thoughts. And what I have found is that there is no time really, just a gentle journey into the heart, and a getting to know the mind stream that I am waking up into. And if I leave this life with a little more humility, a little more softness in my heart, and a mind that is open to waking up, that will be a very good, and this pathway can do that with me. I can feel it in my bones. I don’t look for experiences in my practice or meditations, I just turn up for life, carry out my practices, go to the teachings, and keep everything very simple. In this way I find the nature of my mind, changes, in very subtle, gentle ways. And I do this without hope 🙂