meditation

The less there was of me, the happier I got

A quote from this LionsRoar.com article:

“You know who said it best? Leonard Cohen. He meditated all those years at Mt. Baldy Zen Center, often for twelve hours at a time. In an interview, he said his storyline just wore itself out. He got so bored with his dramatic storyline. And then he made the comment, ‘The less there was of me, the happier I got.’”

Do not try to experience satori

“Do not try to experience satori. Do not try to drive away illusion. Do not hate the thoughts that arise, and do not love them, either. Above all, do not entertain them. Just practice the great sitting, here and now. If you do not continue a thought, it will not come back of its own accord.”

What to do on those days when you just can’t meditate

This morning I’m reminded of a favorite meditation tip: Some days when you try to meditate, it just doesn’t work. On those days just put in your time on the cushion, or try to make game of it. Get up when the timer goes off, have a cookie, but don’t punish yourself for being a “bad meditator.” New wrinkles in the brain aren’t easily made.

But then on those days when it comes easily and naturally, turn off the timer/alarm, think, “Surf’s up, dude,” and ride that wave as long and as hard as you can. Good rides like these make those struggles worthwhile.

Happy New Year & Namaste

In deep zazen our true desires are revealed

“During Zazen the ego-subject can look at the ego-object, and vice-versa. We can realize that we are not so wonderful, sometimes we’re even worse than other people, because in deep zazen our true desires are revealed and we can see them fully.”

~ Taisen Deshimaru, in the book, Questions to a Zen Master

“The path I have followed has been dangerous”

“The path I have followed has been dangerous, destabilizing more than calm, excruciating more than pleasant, and hard to integrate (into ‘normal’ everyday life). It has also been profound, amazing, and glorious. Surfing the ragged edges of reality has been easier than slowing the thing down.”

~ A quote from the book, Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha, by Daniel Ingram.

A few meditation notes (calming, quality)

When I first sit down to meditate, my mind is often too busy to get into it well, so one thing I’ve learned to do is to try to meditate for about eight minutes, then get up, stretch a little bit (a few yoga stretches), then sit back down to meditate normally. My second attempt is usually significantly better than my first attempt. There are other things you can do to calm the mind, but this works well for me.

Another thing I was reminded of again today is that the quality of meditation often changes over time. Today there was something new, and I thought, “Cool ... this is different,” before getting back to the meditation at hand. For me that happens a lot, so I assume it happens for other people as well.