Looking back over this research journal, as I pull everything together ahead of the big exhibition next week, I realise I’ve never said anything about the various Meditation Groups I’ve been a part of, and the huge source of knowledge and inspiration they have been.
Firstly I have completed my MBSR, an 8 week program designed by John Kabat Zin, the father of the Western Meditation movement. It was thanks to this project that I was about the weave Meditation more regularly into my life, going from to sporadic 20 mins here and there to a dedicated 30 minutes every working morning. It was wonderful to see and meet an amazing variety of people who where also taking the class, from individuals who where attempting to manage pain, to the lady who wanted to improve her memory so she could pass “The Knowledge” exam to become a black cabbie in the streets of London!
I have also been joining the Wednesday Mindfulness meeting at uni, hearing how my fellow students find and use Meditation to deal with their studies.
I have also been attending classes at the West London Buddhist Centre, sometimes Meditation classes, sometimes lectures about Buddhism, which has been fascinating and heavily influenced the project, for example it was at one of these lectures that I learned more about the Buddhist Diagrams of flow and influence, which led to mine making the Project Map I found so useful for visualising the overarching concept of this body of work.
Of course if you look back over my two years in Tokyo there are many more classes that I attended, including Zen, Gongyo and Tea Ceremony. Meeting with people at a variety of stages in their Meditation journeys, and hearing their struggles and successes, and seeing how they compare to my own, has been one of my favourite parts of the research process. I’ve learnt so much about how different people experience the deeply personal process of introspection and metacognition, and I look forward to learning much more in the future. Next stop in the 10 day Vipassana course, I can’t wait!