Happy little monks

Posted by on Jan 7, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Monks1

Not working in an office means I get to indulge myself with BBC Radio 4 for seven days a week. I like to think it makes me a better person. Well, more interesting at least. Better – happier – that’s something else.

Today for example I stumbled on a really interesting show in the Monday Beyond Belief slot on meditation and religion.

Amid the rather worthy theological nuance stuff was a really interesting thought that the purpose of religion and religious practice – at least in the buddhist sense – is to help individuals overcome (“transcend”) their sense of individuated self and thus Meditation – which is thought by some neuroscientists to alter the wiring of the brain – was the focus but I thought immediately of other, rather less contemplative practices (what else is singing and dancing in religion for?). The point of all of these is to turn our attention away from our egoistic Self and towards others because without letting go of this stuff we cannot be happy (let alone good).

Odd then that we think of religion as something private and “inside”, when its function is to take us away from our individual selves…

Go here to hear the show again (til Sunday 13th Jan).