Sometimes on our journey through life, events happen that can drastically change the path that we are on. But these events don’t always have to have a negative impact.
Founder of Settle Stories - Sita Brand, found that an unfortunate accident set her on a path to enlightenment, one that is still ongoing today. As Sita prepares to share her premiere performance - The Turning Point (Sat 2nd Feb), we caught up with her to find out more about the story behind the show.....
Q: The piece reflects on a turning point in life, what was the turning point in your life that inspired you on your journey?
At the eve of the millennium I was struck by a car as I walked down the road. At the time I was outside Plum Village, the monastery of Zen Master - Thich Nhat Hanh and so began a journey of recovery interwoven with a discovery of Buddhism.
Q: Do you think religion and specifically in this case Buddhism, encourages exploration of ones self through the medium of storytelling?
I think Buddhism encourages one to look at oneself. One is invited to investigate who we are and the way our mind works. I am a storyteller so I use story to explore ideas. But you could use any artform.
Q: What do you think people can do in their every day lives, that may help set them on a journey to enlightenment?
To be mindful and aware of who we are and what we do. To be present. To be truly present. So often in life we live in a cloud unaware of what is going on around us and the consequences of our thoughts and actions. When we are mindful, when we are present we can be enlightened through simple acts in our everyday life.
In the West in particular, we are so caught up with ourselves and 'doing' usually too much and I'm certainly guilty of that. When we stop, when we are present, when we are mindful and find stillness within us we have more to offer both ourselves and others.
Q: Did you find the wisdom You were seeking?or did you find, that actually, some of the wisdom was already there - it just needed to be uncovered?
As a seeker on the spiritual path we are are always seeking. I don't think that wisdom is an end in itself. We are all constantly learning, at least I am.
Ofcourse their lies wisdom within all of us and our learning is always a combination of what we learn from others as well as what we discover about ourselves. Buddhism encourages us to investigate our mind, our feelings and to really explore and get to grips with the nature of reality.
Q: Is the journey still ongoing? What else would you like to achieve in the future?
Life is a journey, so yes it definitely continues. My Buddhist practice continues to be a priority and important for me. I meditate from between 1-2 hours a day. I would like to be able to do more.
Things that I would like to achieve - I have a book about mindfulness and creativity that I am working on and I also want to write a book about love. So that is in the foreseeable future.
Anything else - who knows? I would like Settle Stories to grow particularly in relation to our work with young people and young adults.
For everyone in life our journey is ongoing. I am no different in that respect.
Join Sita live as she shares this story in the premiere performance of The Turning Point on Sat 2nd February.
Written by volunteer writer Elizabeth Snell