Wednesday, November 19, 2014

you should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you're too busy, then you should sit for an hour

in the last few months the practice of buddhism has returned to me like an old friend who i haven't visited in far too long.  it began with a conversation with a person very dear to me, a monk, via skype.  i told him how i felt the romanticism of buddhism had passed and whereas i am still very dedicated to my spiritual practices i have a longing for that consciousness i once had.  he reminded me that when we met i was only 22 years old and still very idealistic in the world.  the teachings of the buddha are now things i must apply to my life rather than listen to in exotic mystery.  some eleven years have passed and this monk is still a very close friend of mine.  he has watched me travel and observed my thoughts in ways that i myself had failed to realize.  as it came to be, this conversation was very special to me and again i feel that child-like thirst for simplicity and have begun again the practice of metta (the daily effort to wish wellness, happiness and peace upon all living things).

meditation is intimidating to us for some reason.  i think we fear the boredom of the practice or perhaps we don't see a purpose to it, maybe we think we will fall asleep.  as i've been taught, the practice of meditation is a return to a still point, the focus on one's breath and the watching of transient thoughts as they pass.  we who practice meditation do not cling to thoughts however we let them pass as leaves on a gentle stream.  the purpose, as least to me, of meditation is to learn the ability to return to this place at any given time in our conscious lives.  there are times of stress or anger and anxiety when we become flustered however those who practice meditation are able to return to this stillness and maintain healthy thoughts even amid the troubles of life.  

buddhism is a path which i began many years ago and i entered this world without question.  i listened to the words of the buddha and realized that i have nothing to contest with his teachings.  being a religious-philosophy of many quotes i would like to include a great piece of wisdom by the Dalai Lama who once said, “If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.”  

this quote has always carried a lot of water for me when i examine other religions.  i could never imagine any other religion accepting change in the eyes of science and in my opinion buddhism is directly related to science.  in meditation we are tapping into our bodies' inner core and we use life in its simplest form to grow as humans and prepare ourselves (adapt ourselves) to the changes which come with time.  we all get sick, we all potentially grow old and we all die.  these are the three observations which began the path to the buddha's enlightenment and through deep meditation he learned that it is our desire to hang on to things which are not ours to hang onto which cause us such suffering.  

life has taken me to strange and faraway places.  i've seen living proof that we live on a round planet with such varieties of nature that my emotional side finds it difficult to contain itself.  i've also traveled deep within myself and found a place which gives me happiness.  i also believe that happiness is a practice and i believe that we can cultivate our own happiness in the way that a farmer grows his or her own crops.  these all begin with seeds that we plant in our consciousness and as a good farmer we must tend to our crops often and see that they prosper.  such is the was of the meditation practitioner.