“It’s very simple”, Lama Drimed said to me.
“Just sit down, comfortably, preferably with your back straight, on a chair, or on a meditation cushion, but for fat people like you, a chair is much better.”
And while coming to sit next to me on that chair he continued, “and then you breathe, normally, in and out, nothing special, and you count your breath …”
“Till how long should I count my breath?” I asked
“Till you stop the counting”
“Just to show you what happens in your counting mind.”
So we both did what he said for 10 minutes, and then I left him in this Buddhist temple not far from work. I had spent my break at noon there, to learn to count.
“How odd”, I thought, “what can this be good for?”
But I did the exercise a couple of times a day. Usually while taking public transport. The counting never reached 50. Always one or the other event re-directed my mind, an interrupt, and eventually an observing task manager noted that I should be counting, and then I started again.
It’s easy for me now to write this, but then, I was baffled by the workings of my mental system. I had no names for what happened, no point of reference. What we were told by society about our brain was physiological or psychological, but not descriptive – at least not from the point of view of the “I”. My “I”.
So one week and 20 exercises later I came back to Lama Drimed, who asked me what happened. And I told him that I could not concentrate. He just said: “AhA, you see”
Next he told me about my mind being like a window on the sky, me looking through this imperfect window to the sky above it. Thoughts were like clouds.
And then I had to do another exercise, really following my breath in my body.
But I forgot to exercise. I lost my interest, having many things to tackle in my life in 2004. I thought that this meditation was all very weird.
And by the time I eventually came back with more questions, 6 months later, Lama Drimed had gone back to Scotland.
It didn’t matter.
In the long run, questions led to answers … their own way … answers that change over the years.
Somehow, Lama Drimed — that strange Englishman, wearing Tibetan robes — really helped me to find out about the inner workings of my own crazy mind. It didn’t happen at once, and took many years to ripen. I often think about him. Perhaps one day we will meet again …