Buddhism, Guided Meditation, Hinduism, Society, Spirituality

Episode 23: Just Walk! A Guided Meditation

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Busy or not… we can all meditate!

Walking meditation has a long tradition, and it isn’t something I just made up right now on the spot — and I thoroughly enjoy this practice, living in a busy city. Walking meditation has always been common in Zen Buddhism and throughout India, with a plethora of practitioners of different religious / spiritual / and traditional backgrounds. It is used to break up long bouts of sitting practice, known as Zazen, or as a practice on its own.

Wildmind Meditation explains it particularly well:

”Anything we do can become meditative, including eating, driving, washing, cleaning the house, and of course, walking. Historically, Buddhist monks in India would make walking an important part of their daily practice, remaining mindful as they walked around performing the daily tasks of life such as fetching water or going to the bathroom, as well as when on the alms round as they begged for food by going from door to door, and as they simply walked from one place to another as they crossed the country. It was natural for them to make the simple act of walking into an opportunity to develop mindfulness and lovingkindness.”

Since everything can be a meditation, theoretically, then we can also turn the simple act of walking from place to place or setting the intention to do this into our days. It becomes very pleasureable just to walk and notice bodily sensations, getting used to being back in our bodies when often our minds are overwhelmed.

Try this method with me and tell me how it goes!

Buddhism, Hinduism, Philosophy, Society, Spirituality

Episode 19: Building an Ecological House – Part II


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Building an ecological house… is what I am going to do. Because I feel a responsiblity towards taking care of myself and changing the current situation on earth.

People, like you and me, are starting to wake up and bypass the status quo, because the disillusionment of pleasing authorities that exist in our imaginations is over-grown, like disengaged tree branches falling and crippling away at their stems.

Bodily freedom comes with enjoying life’s blessings and eliminating the stress of chasing bills for energy companies who could give a damn if we stay warm or not. Freedom comes when we are living authentically, under less pressure, acknowledging the inner space to let thoughts, emotions, sensations, and material sense objects flow through our experience without having to cling to them. Our current cultures all encourage clinging: to business (busy-ness), to success, to sense stimulation, to future events, to familiar people, to our reputation, and more subtly, to habits (“Samskaras” in Buddhist/Hindu philosophy), and to self-image. That is: the external world and its multiplicity of situations.

In my previous episode (#18), I talked about how the Industrial Revolution ignited massive economic change in Europe and North America, spurring the growth of the consumer society we now live in. It’s not our fault, but we made rash decisions when the population boomed and kept growing larger. Cities replaced rural lifestyles, factory lines replaced craftsmanship, and railroads promoted long-haul transport. Now we have a system (again, imaginary, but passed right along by our forefathers) that encourages working to get by while life passes us by.

So… I will build an eco-house and harness wind and solar power to create a home where the family are reliant on nature and live closely with her; we will grow our own fruit and vegetables and freeze them over winter. We will nurture animals who come to live with us. We will spend time making music, taking long walks, reading, podcasting, painting, building guitars, and have a healing centre with massage and meditation.

I feel the responsiblity to be free — to inspire the rest of humanity to be free.

If you have similar ideas that need expression or an inspiring thought to share, then comment below!

Buddhism, Hinduism, Philosophy, Society, Spirituality

Episode 18: The Economy, Cities, & Our Big Brains – Part I

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What will happen in the future to jobs and the economy as people start to “wake up”?

Firstly, people who are awakening are more concerned with not only themselves and their immediate families and friends, but the wider scope: humanity as a whole.

As the population is growing — estimates of nearly 10 billion by 2050 — how are we to take care of each other in this new age we are entering? More and more graduates of top universities can’t get jobs, because the bar is raising and the sectors we are currently engaged in, in cities in particular, are becoming obsolete. Think about this: in my city alone, London, the top sector is finance and banking: according to uncsbrp.org:

”London’s economic importance cannot be underestimated. In terms of industries, it is the financial sector which is the most important. Although creative, media, technology and manufacturing industries all operate from London, it is the financial services sector which dominates them all. Most of the banking, underwriting and trading markets that operate in the capital are base in the City of London.”

How many people, out of the entire 9 million people who live in London, are in, or desire to be in banking? I’m not everyone, of course, but the majority of London is a cultural hub where over 250 languages are spoken and people have wide and diverse interests: East London’s creative scene is being overturned lately by developers, and many are scared for the future of their neighbourhood. London is a place that’s hard to leave, and you can find generations of families who have lived in the same neighbourhood their whole lives and masses of foreigners who came to the city 10, 20, 30 years ago and call it their home: that’s why you have what is called “Banglatown” in Shoreditch, Chinatown in the center, Jamaicans living in Brixton and Seven Sisters, Jewish areas in Stoke Newington and Stamford Hill, student centres in New Cross and Westminster and Aldgate, a smattering of schoolboys and girls everywhere, office workers, restaurant owners, pop-up shops and record stores, and a thousand other small businesses like tattoo shops, hair salons, music venues, and off-licenses. It’s not difficult to integrate with everyone, and that’s what makes London unique: we don’t all desire to follow the status quo, and we stay even though developers are taking land to create unaffordable housing and rents we’re up to our necks in heating bills, because you know, it’s never even really sunny… we are a collective, though segregated by smartphones and cliques and language barriers and busy-ness.

We don’t all want to be in banking…

(Tune in to hear the rest of the episode!)

Hinduism, Interview, Philosophy, Society, Spirituality

Episode 17: Hinduism is not a Religion: Perspective with Karthik


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In this episode, I talk with Karthik, a native Indian who now lives in London. He believes that Hinduism is not a religion; it is more of a lifestyle, where one really chooses who and what to worship or not at all.

Hindus obtained their name from the River Indus, denoting a group of people who lived around the area. The Greeks actually gave this name to the Indians living there, and ever since, more and more people referred to these guys as “Hindus” and even called India “Hindustan” for a while. The name stuck.

I ask Karthik about this, and he agrees with me that “India is still proud to be the ‘Land of the Hindus'”.

Karthik comes from the state of Tamil Nadu: the city is Madurai, nicknamed the City of Temples and the Athens of the East. His family also studied the Tirukkuṛaḷa book considered one of the greatest works in ethics and morality, known for its non-secular nature; yet many are unfamiliar with the text in the wider world. He also tells us the way his family personally practices Hinduism and some magical stories about some of the gods; but the gods are not what Hinduism is really all about. You have to listen to our podcast to be let in on the secret.

Here’s one hint, though: there’s a saying in India, “First honour your mother… then your father… then your guru… then God.”