West African Fellowship Diary
Meditation is not of my culture. I didn’t learn to meditate at 5, 10, 15 or 20 years. It came after 25 years of my existence. The adventure was coincidental as I was never prepared nor ready to start meditation. I went for a conference once and somebody threw it at me: ‘why don’t you get involved in meditation?’ I joined the peace revolution online network. This was at a time i had the feeling my life was sucking: I was angry with myself, angry with my friends, angry with my family and angry with the World. I used to magnify my problems and complain about everything around me. I felt I was the most hurt person under this planet, I failed to understand the love and affection granted me by my parents, friends, family members and good people I meet every day. I was bent on changing the world and making everyone nice. I failed to change myself and be the person I have been praying to meet.
I applied for the West African Fellowship though my country was not eligible at the very beginning. The interview went by and I received a congratulation letter. Moving to Dakar, I had a hope: the one to change my life. The desire to set my mind free from trauma and problems kept me on the move. I feared I’ll meet strange and perfect people who will judge me while in Dakar. I even had a hesitation at some point and felt online meditation was enough for me; but the desire to get more out of meditation gave me the courage to continue.
My journey to Dakar was calm and tiring and before I could notice I’d met several people. The best part of it was meeting the monk: He was extraordinary, filled with knowledge and every time he was teaching I felt guilty. I felt as if he was addressing me particularly. I felt I was a stranger to my own self and it was time for me to look at the inner me and realise what am worth. I had to realise I am the problem with myself. I understood changing the world from my perspective was a utopia. I learnt changing the world must begin with changing myself; getting rid of bad taught and striving to keep a positive attitude. He used simple language to teach, everyday figures as well to represent ideas and bring us to see for ourselves all that we’ve been missing.
Luang Pi pasura quotes:
‘He who stabs you with a knife hurts you once...he who throws harsh words at you hurts you for life’
‘He who throws hard words are you, throws them at himself. Be like the wall; when you throw a ball at the wall, it falls back on us, that is the feeling meditation brings’. The above two quotes, out of many given by Luang Pi pasura opened my ears and my mind. I stopped to look at the me in the mirror and to look at the me with my spiritual eyes. His teachings and meditation set the foundations of my meditation legacy and today i can answer the questions of those to whom I’ll talk about meditation.
At this point, the challenge was launched. I had to set myself free from the chains of sorrow and worries. I learnt I didn’t have to do things perfectly but I had to work hard so as to become a better person. I learnt my role was not to count out my wrongs and the wrongs of the world but to make off and move on forever. ‘You waste 60% of your time in regrets and worry about the past, meanwhile you can;t change anything in the past. Get rid of it and think of the present and the future. That is where you can change things’ (Luang Pi Pasura). I for once realised regrets will never be of help to me. Luang Pi Pasura taught us never to carry along with us worries because they will weight on us and stop us from prospering. That was one of the best thing I ever learnt.
The environment was set to make us comfortable for meditation: I’d met people who shared the same dreams as me. I saw people open minded and ready to change themselves so as to make the world a better place. I opened my mind to meditate and feel Sabai. This great day at last came and I found myself at the beach. I was tensed at the beginning but needed only 3 minutes to get out of it. I was prepared to meditate, when the worries, troubles and trauma of the past wanted to win me as usual. I let them be and they felt something was different this time, and I would not fight them. On their own, they left me. I was gone in meditation when I experienced the earth around me turn, my chair lifted me higher, i could see something bright, like the moon and again the stars, the light came in me, I felt I was new and I smiled, I had a feeling I would never worry again. I opened my eyes and a few minutes later, Luang Pi Pasura announced we’d had a 1hr 15 minutes meditation session. I was proud of myself. The relief I’d felt from that day was incomparable. I had forgiven myself for all the wrongs I’d put myself through, I’d forgiven my entourage and I’d forgiven every single bad word anyone has ever thrown at me.
My first day retreat was tiring and calm; I was wondering if I would make it to the end. I felt it was out of question for me to apply for the Amani fellowships. I told my roommates about my worry and they tried in their way to encourage me. The second day of the meditation was so perfect that I wished that moment to last forever. The joy it brought me, the hope it built in me made me feel if I keep such happiness to myself that would be selfishness. I would not be able to afford not telling my friends and environs to try and get that very sensation. Talking to the monk, I understood peace goes above that and we need to keep striving. Every new meditation day seemed the best and it was clear for me I will do that all my life. Unfortunately, the retreat lasted for 3 days and ended, leaving me thirstier to meditate. Meditating in such a place was wonderful and right now am looking forward to working towards the forthcoming Amani fellowship in Thailand.
The West African fellowship, gave a solid foundation to my meditation experience. It made me understand being at peace with myself and the world was just up to me. I was in a hurry to initiate my mum to meditation. From henceforth, meditation is part of me and it will remain. My endeavour is to be a peace coach and increase the peace revolution alumni in Cameroon and make everyone around me have a taste of meditation and its benefits. I joined meditation as a stranger but today it is my friend and it is part of me.
By Peace Rebel Messa Blandine Angele from Cameroon