An extremely cold morning, I meditated in my coat. It was difficult not to plan my day. But grateful, I keep coming back to my seat.
Meditation Poem #21
all my urgencies drop away
when I sit and breathe
sitting just as I am
nothing more, nothing less
I sat very distractedly this morning. I am having lots of thoughts of confusion, and trying to remember I am not my thoughts. And live rights actions, and my thoughts will follow.
Meditation Poem #19
thoughts lead me astray
my breath grounds me
Today, I sat in meditation on a wooden bench at a Quaker meeting for worship. There are different sects of Quakerism, but I belong to one where people sit in Silence and speak out that Silence. I was pretty physically tired, the drowsiest I’ve been in sitting meditation.
Meditation Poem #18
the deepest silence cannot
hold the infinite emptiness
There’s form of Zen, where teachers stress shikantaza, or just sitting. If we just sit fully, then we just are, nothing special. Zen teachers like Kosho Uchiyama teach this sort of zen that embraces the everyday life, in his exploration of Dogen’s writing on the cook of a temple, Uchiyama writes:
The most important point to bear in mind here regarding the buddhadharma is the expression mantoku enman, or perfect harmony. To have goodness emanating naturally from your character is living more truly by Buddhism than having had some so-called kenshō or satori experience. There should be no doubt that living out your life, acting and being in perfect harmony, is indeed living out the life of the Self. A satori which is unrelated to your personal character is nothing more than a kind of drunkenness. It is no more than the elation you might get from taking drugs. Needless to say, this has nothing to do either with religion or with the buddhadharma.
We are not practicing for some goal, even for a goal of enlightened. We do zazen to do zazen, and in just sitting, we are just being.
Needless to say, I have not been able to just sit, I am distracted by a myriad of thoughts and feelings. But I try to keep coming back to the practice of sitting meditation over and over. Uchiyama says of zazen:
Your practice of zazen must not be something separate from your own experience of your day-to-day life, nor from the overall direction of your life. Rather, in constantly working to refine and clarify your everyday life, or the life of your total Self, your practice accords with the dharma.
I hope I can live this way of being, and live in a way that spiritual life is not a theory but a lived out experience in each moment.
A rare Saturday morning where I got to sleep in, so I meditated a bit later. We received snow last night, so woke up to sounds of snow sliding off roof.
Meditation Poem #17
let my mind be as clear as snow
(Picture through my window this morning.)