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Am I dumbing down 2000 years of philosophical progress?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Today I woke up terrified. You know that gut wrenching fear that makes you feel like a terrified 8th grader about to start high school? My little inner critic (is bitch too strong a word?) had clearly been messing around in my subconscious all night. “So, little missy. Who do you think you are to be starting a website that offers meditations? You can’t even meditate properly yourself – and you often skip days (how bad is that?) And then there is the whole issue about taking an ancient, spiritual wonder and putting it online. How dare you?”

I won’t go on but you get the idea. Maybe everyone feels like this just as they are about to launch a real live business that they have been thinking about for 2 1/2 years. Maybe everyone gets scared and full of doubts.

The good news is that I am now so committed that I really can’t get out of this. My husband would never speak to me again if I bailed now.

The next good news is that  I found a wonderful book in the library that rang all my bells (have you ever wondered about how often that happens?. You know…. when you have had a random idea in your head and you are in the library or a bookshop and the book about exactly that subject falls into your hand?)

It is called The Art of Meditation by Mattieu Ricard.  It is so beautiful. A little white book full of fabulously written thoughts.

Here’s the description of it.

Although meditation is a life-long process even for the wisest, The Art of Meditation demonstrates that by practicing it on a daily basis we can change our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. In this inspiring book, the author talks us through the theory, spirituality and practical aspects of meditation. He illustrates each stage of his teaching with practical exercises and sources of inspiration, leading each reader deeper into their own practice. This book demonstrates the significant benefits that meditation, based on selfless love and compassion, can bring to each of us.

Now this guy is qualified (even his name seems meditative) Check this out:

Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, photographer, and author. He has lived and worked in the Himalayan region for forty years. This website is dedicated to his photographs and his books, and to sharing some of the inspiration he received from his spiritual masters. Matthieu donates all proceeds from his work and much of his time to thirty humanitarian projects in Asia:

And just like that, I remembered that the whole concept of mydiamonddays isn’t for me to be the expert (“thank the lord!” says my little inner critic) but to find people who are experts and provide a hub and access point for them to share their knowledge and wisdom and magic with people who know there is something there but aren’t sure how to find a way in.

Here’s a quote attributed to Matthieu Ricard.

Some may wonder whether it is a luxury to seek to dispel their own inner pain in order to attain inner freedom when so many others are suffering from famine, extreme poverty, war, and countless other disasters. Why don’t we simply try to relieve their suffering immediately? If that were possible, scientists too would give up their research just to work on emergency cases. Likewise, what would be the point of spending five years building a hospital? Electrical and plumbing work doesn’t cure anybody. Why not just head for the street, set up some tents, and begin treating the sick straightaway?

Matthieu Ricard, Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill

Am I still scared?!! Oh my lordy yes. But maybe me (and more importantly the people who are providing the meditations) can add something to the world. Once my site is up and I’m feeling brave one day, I’m, going to contact Mr Ricard and see if he’d like to add something to the site.

Here’s the wonderful Mr Ricard.

Wish me luck!

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