View Full Version : What was your real Buddha moment (moment of peace)?
06-14-2007, 11:45 AM
The discussion in the thread What was your own Buddha moment like? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=424830) made me realize that a "Buddha moment" should be the one where you felt totally at peace with yourself, the world, or both. So what was yours? Hopefully we've all had one.
I've got 3.
1. I'm 24 years old, still only four years out of the house, still suffering from a lot of the emotional abuse my parents inflicted on me, still confused about God. I am thinking deeply about my life one day when it comes to me - I'm OK. I don't need God, and that's OK. I don't have great parents, and I can survive without it. I can be whom I want to be and even if it's not quite to their standards, that's OK too. I've spent years in pursuit of that feeling and it's fleeting, but it does come.
2. Last year we decided after years to go fly a kite. Well, after a few mishaps we got the silly thing off the ground, and then - Zen. I can still summon that feeling every now and then, the feeling that all of my worries were just flying away with the kite, that the whole world had narrowed down to me, my SO, and that kite flying up there in the blue, blue sky.
3. I get 1-2 every year with the New York fall season. Beautiful.
06-14-2007, 12:11 PM
I flew down here from Canada to meet my future wife for the first time, in the week before Xmas. I was all nervous, and trying to make a good impression, and emotions were running high. On one morning of my visit to her parents' home, I had woken up before everyone else, so I made a cup of tea and went outside to think and reflect. I had the most overpowering feeling that everything was as perfect as it could possibly be, and that I belonged here. This was the goal of my life, and it was within my grasp, and no matter what, I would pour all of my efforts into coming here to stay. All this was being offered to me, and it'd be wrong not to accept it. I seem to have been right, and it all worked out, like puzzle pieces falling into place. It was the casting off of the old, and stepping into the new. I'll never forget that feeling.
06-14-2007, 01:08 PM
My first travel experience in the third world was a real Buddha moment for me. I could almost feel my world view changing, my heart opening, my consciousness raising. Very hard to describe. 20 years ago it was unheard of to vacation in the third world and I struggled to make my friends and family comprehend what drew me back again and again.
But that first journey, climbing on the plane to return to the west, I knew I'd never be the same person I was when I left home. And I was overjoyed with the awareness.
06-14-2007, 01:44 PM
I'm not sure how well I'm going to be able to convey this, but here goes.
Two years ago my wife and I were camping in the middle of the black rock desert. We'd driven 10 hours to get there and decided that instead of setting up the tent we'd just sleep on an air mattress. It was pitch black as we were in the middle of hundreds of square miles of dry lakebed. The stars were indescribable, like floating in space. We drifted off to sleep eventually, but woke up a few times during the night long enough to open an eye, smile and drift back off again.
Lying curled up with her in cold air and under warm blankets and sharing that moment is one of my best memories. I've never felt so perfectly at peace.
06-14-2007, 03:31 PM
Actually, it was today. I was waiting to pull into a parking spot and some dude was standing in the way, and I didn't feel irritated, and he charmingly skipped out of the way and smiled, and I smiled back. And I thought, "There's no time for hate." and went about my business.
That was cool.
06-14-2007, 08:00 PM
Sorrento, Italy. Early morning, sitting in a very fancy internet cafe/bar, checking-in on-line for our flights home that night. While typing away on the laptop I looked up and there was a large glass vase filled with three tiny goldfish. I smiled.
It was at that moment that the realization that no matter what, no matter where, people are all the same. They wake, they sleep, they work, labour, lift, pull, think, and go about their daily lives in one mode or another. The daily chores of life seemed so meaningless in that moment.
Unfortuantely, that moment has been lost in the hussle of continued existance. I long for it back.
06-14-2007, 08:51 PM
Late last year we were struggling with my father-in-law being diagnosed with a rapidly fatal illness (which was rediagnosed as apparently not, after he started getting better as soon as my husband turned up and started feeding him well), my father behaving in appalling ways that lead me to have to cut contact with him, and the stress of my husband having to be away from home to look after his dad. I went to visit around Christmas. His family is in Houston. The visit was hard, I haven't been home for Christmas for years, I no longer have a home to go to, and we were not sure if this would be his Dad's last Christmas. Plus the family dynamic was explosive.
We went to visit the Rothko chapel for some solace. My husband was meditating and I don't, so I was just sitting with the paintings watching the light move over them when I was hit by a sudden realization from within that it was OK to be OK. It was OK to be basically keeping it together, to not fall apart in a splashy show of emotions. That it was OK to have processed enough stress in one lifetime to be able to set it aside for now and just cope; it didn't mean I didn't care. It was OK to be fine in spite of a shitty childhood, to succeed in spite of all the predictors of failure in my life. It was OK to have faith that my life would work out on balance not a disaster.
That was big, because I always kind of did expect to break down, not survive and thrive. But I am thriving in spite of all the shit in the world and I don't deserve to sink, any more than I really deserve to succeed, but I don't have to feel guilty about coping better than other people in my family... survivor guilt I guess. It was such a weight off me.
06-14-2007, 10:22 PM
I was about a month and a half out from having had my mentally ill wife removed from the house with an Order For Protection; and from having had her file insane false charges against me and filing for divorce. A month from having moved out of the house into a rented townhouse. All in all an extremely painful time in my life. I'd lost every friend I ever had, I'd lost my own house, I'd lost my wife. Every one and every thing I valued was gone. Except my personal possessions and my cats.
I went out to the Black Hills in South Dakota. A place I love visiting. This time I decided to hike Harney Peak.
It was early October. 55 degrees and sunny as I set out from Sylvan Lake. A brutal climb for me. I do a lot of walking, but this was 3-4 miles very much UP HILL.
I got to the top. 45 degrees and sunny. I'm sweating profusely, very sore, very tired.
I was the only person up there. It was wonderful. It was peaceful.
It didn't last. The divorce was a brutal 9 month process, attempting to deal with a very much insane woman who had no intention of cooperating, even though she was the one who had filed for divorce, and who was lying to everyone about everything, including telling everyone else that *I* was the one who had filed for divorce, was trying to defraud her of money and steal her house. ( I don't want your house you stupid cunt. BTW: What happened to MY house???)
But for the hour I was up there, it was magic.
I've been back two more times. The second time it was snowing, and again I was alone. The third time it was 80 degrees, and there must've been 60+ people up there, completely ruining the experience. Henceforth I've resolved to ONLY do the hike outside of the normal tourist season.
When I want to run away
I drive off
in my car
06-15-2007, 10:49 AM
I was about 14 years old and walking home from a friend's house after dark in early winter. Actually it was my girlfriend's house. All of a sudden it started to snow. And the flakes were these gigantic, fluffy, floating type that melted as soon as they hit the ground.
For some reason I stopped walking and just started looking around at the patterns of the snow in the streetlights, the headlights, the houses, and the moon. I suddenly felt overwhelmed by the beauty and peacefulness of the moment. I even remember thinking to myself "I have got to remember this moment."
Perhaps it was in part due to my independence and freedom of being out on the street all alone? Perhaps it was due to the strange emotions of adolescence after an evening in my girlfriend's basement? Perhaps it was a sudden connection with nature and my environment? I'm not sure, but it was over 30 years ago and I still remember that moment.
06-15-2007, 12:03 PM
As I mentioned in a previous thread, I once drove 18-wheelers long-haul.
For me, it was full of "Buddha moments."
Now, I know most people would rather slit their wrists than become a truck driver. It is perceived as such a low/no prestige job. But it wasn't like that for me. (I did it for 7 years, so I must have liked it).
Ever read Mark Twain, where he expounds on the life of a riverboat pilot, and how it is such an "unfettered" existence? Well, a semi ain't no riverboat, but for me, the feeling was the same.
If you are an independant, as I was, you pretty much do what you want, especially when the truck is paid for, as mine was. I'm not saying I slacked around, no, I ran a good business.
Just being out there on my own, in my early twenties. Rootless. Out of reach. Relying on no one but myself. If I didn't do it, it didn't get done. I developed self-reliance and a good work ethic. And the money wasn't too bad either. Owning nothing but a truck and a suitcase full of clothes, I built up a pretty decent bank account.
But it was just being out there, crossing the desert at 2 in the morning, with classical music on NPR coming through crystal clear, and also knowing that I was performing honest work, a needed function.
06-15-2007, 12:46 PM
Appropriately enough, mine occurred while sitting at the foot of a tree. It was the day before my doctoral comprehensive exams. I had been frantically trying to stuff all of Western music history into my brain and was feeling stressed and exhausted, so I went to a park just to take a break for a few minutes. I sat under a tree, looking over at a pond with some ducks, and just sat, and sat, doing nothing and thinking nothing. And found peace.
I rocked my exams, by the way, which I credit entirely to that Zen moment under the tree.
06-15-2007, 12:50 PM
These are some nice stories, and I recognize aspects of some of them. It's hard to describe that moment of utter peace...it's both inner and outer.
I hope more are forthcoming...?
I was 18, hitchhiking, and sitting beside a roadway in Belgium enjoying a can of peaches. I just got this blissful wave of absolute unfettered freedom. Maybe it was the peaches.
I was backcountry skiing near Berthoud Pass in Colorado. It was a weekday so there was no one else around and I had the whole bowl to myself. It was lightly snowing and I went up and down a couple times, carving turns, then I fell back in the snow at treeline, laid there and watched the snow fall so quietly.....
06-16-2007, 12:16 PM
My life is darn good at the moment, other than my job, so I have Buddha moments all the time.
Just a few minutes ago I was leaving the grocery store. In my mini cart (which are very rare to come by at that store, so I am always thrilled to get one) I was carrying 8 lbs of baby back ribs that my wonderful husband was going to cook for my wonderful parents (and wonderful brother who I rarely see anymore) for father's day. In my car, waiting for me, was a pair of canvas ballet slipper shoes that I was pretty sure would do as replacement for my current favorite pair that were falling apart. It was a billion degrees outside and they were grilling so I could smell the charring meat. After I emptied my mini cart, I ran it back to the curb and shoved it as hard as I could at the stack of carts piled up, and it skittered off and I had to chase it, laughing out loud. I was so full of joy and peace and contentment that I could barely contain myself.
06-16-2007, 12:21 PM
I had one just yesterday, after I finished my last paper for my MA degree. I haven't had any truly free time for the past year at least, but the minute I sent out that paper I sat back and thought: Right now, in this moment, I have no obligations to anyone. It wasn't even a feeling of elation, but just . . . contentment. I felt like I could love anyone and everyone for that brief moment.
06-16-2007, 12:59 PM
This (http://s143.photobucket.com/albums/r130/flaminghippie/?action=view¤t=Beltaine.jpg). You can just see the feet of a couple of my friends, but there were five of us in the tree on the river, during the best Beltane ever, camping a few feet away from a charming little stream (http://s143.photobucket.com/albums/r130/flaminghippie/?action=view¤t=Stream.jpg) in beautiful weather with 30 of my friends, sharing chores and cooking in a seamless yet unplanned and unmicromanaged way - the perfect example of community living (which all too rarely occurs in reality). I was working strong with my spiritual work doing a year long Gaia aspecting and really cruising right along as a Priestess, serving a circle of 13 active initiates and a come-to-circle flock of 30 regulars and up to 150 at Samhain and Yule. To top it off, the guy I'd been crushing on for years invited me to share his bed (with my best girl friend at the time) and there was absolutely zero drama around the whole week. I was connected to everything in the universe, good and bad, joyous and suffering, and I saw that It Was Good. It actually lasted about 4 months, during which time people actually thought I was using cocaine or speed, because I was so damn happy and energetic all the time.
Damn, if that was a manic episode, I totally understand why so many bipolar folks don't want to take their meds. I'd give my left foot for another episode. Well, maybe not my foot. A few toes, for sure.
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