Since the mid nineties I have had a very keen interest in studying meditation. Around that time I was exposed to a number of philosophies of mainly the new age kind through the bands I was in and through the company I kept.

This created a healthy environment of wonderment and questioning about what life is about and what makes human beings (especially me as I point the finger inwards) do the things that they do.

Out of all the books I read, the people I had spoken to and the philosophies I was exposed to, it turns out that for me, Buddhism was the only thing that really made sense.

Now, there were periods of time where I was right into the study and other times where I had let it lapse but if I was ever asked what religion I adhered to, I would answer Buddhism.

However, there was always one thing that confused me about Buddhism and my relationship to it. I have never seen Buddhism as a religion but more of a method of living.

Now, some schools of Buddhism seem to have a more religious or doctrinal approach to them while others not so but all I wanted to do at the end of the day was practise this method of living without any of the superstitious or religious overtones.

It wasn’t until very recently that I discovered that my “Buddhism without the religion” actually has a name… Secular Buddhism. Now when asked about my religion (mainly through other religious people who knock at my door from time to time) I can reply “I don’t have one, but I am a Secular Buddhist” (much to the amusement or confusion of the questioner).

According to Wikipedia, Secular Buddhism is

“… a broad term for an emerging form of Buddhism and secular spirituality that is based on humanist, skeptical, and/or agnostic values, as well as pragmatism and (often) naturalism, rather than religious (or more specifically supernatural or paranormal) beliefs.”

It’s also referred to as Western Buddhism or Buddhist Atheism.

Once I found a name for my rediscovered path, everything else just started to make sense. Therefore, my Buddhist study would be of a secular nature and my meditation and mindfulness study would come from the disciplined Zen Buddhist tradition of Japan.

In future posts, I’ll be writing about what I discover on this particular path but in the meantime I’m just happy to “be” in this very moment.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Around about this time of year with Christmas coming up and the New Year just around the corner, I always start looking back on the year that was and contemplate on what has happened to me on a personal level and life in general.

One of the ways that I do this is to go through my old blog posts to gain some inspiration (and who knows, there might be a song idea or two waiting to be uncovered).

While going through my earlier posts I came across something I wrote called  Life – We’re Making It Up As We Go Along and from it I glimpsed an undeniable truth that which no-one can escape from.

And that truth is that sometimes life just happens and there’s nothing you can do about it.

No matter how much I try and control the outcomes of my life there is always a small percentage of it that wants to be random, chaotic and spontaneous. The funny thing is that the more I try to fight and control this random, chaotic and spontaneous nature of my life, the more persistent it becomes.

It has made me realise that randomness, chaos and spontaneity truly shapes how my life unfolds on a daily basis and any semblance of control I think I have in my life is merely an illusion.

I’m sure this is what John Lennon meant when he wrote the lyric “life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans”

Ah… I understand now. Now to find that song idea.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

According to Zen Buddhist and interpreter of Chinese and Indian philosophies to the West, Alan Watts (1915-1973), the correlation between life and music is a closely knit and intertwining one.

Through his lectures and his vast audio archive, he was known for his ability to unravel the complexities of life for the layperson through his eloquence and humour.

A series of videos (created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park) were made from some of Alan’s famous audio recordings. The one I’ve included below is the one of the videos that has resonated with me the most.

It’s simply called Life and Music. Enjoy.

Peace,

Corey 🙂