my journey into spirituality

By Meer Musa (Won Sang Won)

I have started practicing meditation with Won Buddhism of Manhattan since November 2011. This has been a great journey of self discovery. I have meditated with other meditation groups around the city previously for a year, and after coming to the Manhattan temple, I developed my practice at a regular basis. It took me a year to discover that a daily sitting meditation is the best way to witness practical change in my progress. I have noticed that I am less forgetful and more mindful. I can face my day with a centered and calm state of mind. I can handle conflicts with family members or friends better by not being affected or attached to a circumstance, with my cultivated inner space and silence. I am better at keeping my focus and train my mind to perform one thing at a time. I have learned to choose my priorities selectively and I can accomplish my immediate goals the best ways possible.

After my morning sitting practice, I feel at peace and I can face my day without feeling anxious. I have noticed I am not stressed about my future as much because I have developed enough presence in my daily life. Whenever I am worried about the future or thinking about the past, it is easier for me to remind myself to be present. With the aid of our daily meditation practice we constantly remind ourselves to pay attention to our breath, inhaling and exhaling and return to here and now. Over time, I have developed an effortless way to let go of all my worries and negative thoughts. I have learned to catch myself quickly and I became an observer of my thoughts before they can take me to a place of worry or fear. I have learned over time that I can deal with any situations or coming obstacles as an opportunity to test my practice and observe how I behave.

I have learned to reflect on my past experiences, that I did not do well with a healthy point of view. Whenever, I had to face a challenging situation, I learned how to do better on the next circumstance by reflecting on how I can do differently for future encounters. I have learned from the teachings of Gautama Buddha, Master Sotesan, various authors, dharma friends, family members, dharma ministers and anyone I came across. Their wisdoms guided me toward how to handle difficult issues I am currently facing and respond mindfully. Through my practice of daily meditation I have a better understanding of what is the soul purpose of my life. Although, the purpose may change over the course of my life, to better serve others and earn a decent living to support myself. I have learned how to be okay with where I am now. As it is written in the Four Great Vows, “Teachings are infinite; we vow to learn them”. I believe learning is part of our living experience and from the teachings of the Fourfold path and the Eightfold path we have some guidance towards this journey called life and enjoy it with the best of our abilities.

meer3"Know Thyself": (2015) Meer Musa

Mediums: pencil, water color on watercolor paper, foam board. print collage, resin, mylar.

To you know yourself. As we search and discover our true nature we learn to choose wisely. When we practice meditation daily we learn to discover who we truly are. While creating the painting I thought of the idea of interconnection between nature and people. Although we are connected to all things I choose these two items based on the original concept for the painting, which was part of the “Native Sum” exhibition at Brooklyn Fireproof Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn. It was for the idea, what does being born in a place brings to you. The hibiscus flowers and the sparrows are native to the country I was born in (Bangladesh). These flowers and birds are also seen in the country I am now (NY, USA). The writing in bengali repeats “know thyself”. Reminding us to search inwardly for answers.  

The flowers and the birds are part of nature and the circular reflective mylar in the center connects “whomever looking” at the painting. The mirror like surface symbolizing our distorted vision of reality. I leave the rest open to the interoperation of the viewers.

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