How to Meditate, Interview – July 5, 2010
Frank: My name is Frank Liddy and I belong to the Black Mountain Zen Centre. I've been informed that you are looking for interviewees. If you're interested I'm interested.
HTM: I am interested. Thank you for offering to interview. How long have you been practicing meditation?
Frank: Thirty years.
HTM: Under what circumstances did you discover meditation?
Frank: Under traumatic conditions as I'm a Belfast guy born and survived the so called troubles.
HTM: Can you go into details please?
Frank: Well it kinda goes like this, being a Belfast boy brought up in the troubles one can't escape the trauma of these terrible times, if you know what I mean. One evening a friend and myself went into a pub in Belfast to say goodbye to some pals as we were destined for London. Well the pub was a bit packed and my buddy Mark was a bit on the claustrophobic side and decided to leave. I joined him, we walked round the corner and bang or boom up went the pub and I was the first person on the scene and what I seen introduced me on a crash course on trauma. Anyway this propelled me into another way being the middle way and that was the beginning of my search, which lead to Buddhism and meditation.
HTM: Can you share the details of how you managed out of this to be introduced to the ideas of meditation? What was it like before you found meditation, and what was it like when you found it?
Frank: Before meditation practice there was insanity, craziness, fear, uncertainty, out of control, a storm. After meditation- the same was around but my reactions changed I began to weather the storm.
HTM: How did you learn of the existence of meditation, and what type of meditation did you learn?
Frank: Through searching for another way and my first serious taste was through Transcendental Meditation. I was one of the first people in Belfast to practice Transcendental Meditation.
HTM: How did you learn Transcendental Meditation? What did you experience in Transcendental Meditation that made it clear to you that meditation could make a difference for you?
Frank: I would say that in some way Transcendental Meditation gave me a taste of meditation and to be honest- how can I describe the taste? It would be like asking you if you hadn't tasted a kiwi before that it was like the taste of a kiwi fruit. I learned Transcendental Meditation through the Belfast TM centre.
HTM: I understand. What you experienced that made a difference for you is hard to describe. Is it fair to say that it brought you relief or some kind of peace? If you knew someone who you believed might benefit from meditation as you have, how would you go about encouraging them? How would you describe the benefits?
Frank: To be honest, I'm not sure as I believe we all have to discover who we are and that only happens when one is ready. Like the old saying when the student is ready the teacher will appear. That's definitely been the case for me. When it comes to encouragement it's hard to beat the four noble truths. I would like to think and hope that my encouragement would come through kindness and a warm smile. My description of the benefits would be kindness and a warm smile.