One day in 2007 I was feeling out of play in a relationship and felt the need to break it off with my long term girlfriend. That night I started writing about spiritual things, I let out a lot of steam into those pages. The next day I told my girlfriend I loved her and a few days later we got back together. Later, while reading some Buddhist material, I realized my writing had many similar tones. I think I was influenced by that episode of the Simpsons when Bart enters into a mini-put contest and Liza offers a zen approach. So I started asking around and doing more research into Buddhism.
A few weeks later I was boarding a coach to Montreal in order to record an album with my band. I've always been a fan of striking up conversation with whom ever happens to be around me and while waiting in line, I asked the fellow next to me if he knew anything about Buddhism. He asked me why I was asking him, I replied simply because he was next to me. His name was Khan and he was the first ever child Buddhist monk in Canada. He was about 24 then, finishing university and still living at the temple. We sat together on the bus and he answered question after question. One aspect that I found most telling is the eternal moment, that everything that's ever happened and that will happen, is happening simultaneously in the present. And that we can always alter the future. He told me about reincarnation, when we create good Karma, we receive more pleasure and happiness, immediately and in as a more perfect being in the next life. When a soul has multiple positive reincarnation, they might become a monk. After a few or many incarnation of being a monk, the soul becomes enlightened and becomes a buddha.
The continuum of Karma is what I liked the most. In the Christian faith, much judgement and focus is put on the afterlife. There's one life to prove yourself, then up or down for eternity. Whereas if we produce good karma, we invite heaven on earth. Conversely, if we smoke all our lives, we invite hell on earth for ourselves and our families as we slowly die from Cancer.
Khan taught me one way to meditate, which I still practice. Sitting with you back straight, either on the floor or in a chair, eyes half open, slowly breathe in and out ten times. Simple as that. Another way is to not alter your breath at all, just be aware of the natural rhythm and eventually it will slow itself down. I always feel grounded, calm and at piece when I do this. I like glancing at a clock or using an alarm if there's something to do afterwards. Khan was a very happy and fulfilled man, he was responsible for putting on parties and concerts at the Buddhist centre in Montreal, I should track him down.
I've been writing about active meditation, start by breathing slowly and consciously, then break dancing or long boarding or writing. Filling yourself with positive energy, recognizing yourself as a spiritual and holy being, then engaging that action with your whole heart. When you practice that enjoyable action, it will contribute to the world around you.