meditation

The same cosmic forces that mold galaxies, stars, and atoms ...

“The same cosmic forces that mold galaxies, stars, and atoms also mold each moment of self and world. The inner self and outer self are born in the cleft between expansion and contraction. By giving yourself to those forces, you become those forces, and through that you experience a kind of immortality — you live in the breath and pulse of every animal, in the polarization of electrons and protons, in the interplay of the thermal expansion and self-gravity that molds stars, in the interplay of dark matter that holds galaxies together and dark energy that stretches space apart.”

~ Part of a quote from The Science of Enlightenment, How Meditation Works, by Shinzen Young

Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of consciousness

“Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of consciousness. The still mind is by definition, pure.”

“Is this the end? Are we there yet? No. There remains the ego, the self, the known self, the impersonator of the Soul. He is the last actor to leave the stage. He lingers even for the very final hand clap of applause. What forces him off the stage? Silence, and retention of the breath.”

~ From the book, Light on Life, by B.K.S. Iyengar

Pema Chodron and our “propensity” for certain behaviors

This quote/image about our “propensity” for certain behaviors comes from Pema Chodron’s book, Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change. Ms. Chodron oftens writes and speaks about “shenpa,” which I’ll describe as some combination of “things that trigger us,” along with how we react to those triggers.

Your true self

I usually just encourage people to meditate so they can learn to relax, but there’s another good reason to meditate: It helps you find out who you are. Since you were born, you’ve been programmed by your parents, siblings, other relatives, friends, and teachers; meditation is a way undoing all of that programming. Once you shed that programming, what remains is your true self.

“Absolute stillness and silence, as if one had landed on the Moon”

“On one occasion of my own practice, nearing deep samadhi, I happened to notice that the stage of my mind was quietly turning and a new scene was appearing. In this new scene no wandering thought popped up its head; there were absolute stillness and silence, as if one had landed on the Moon.”

~ Zen Training

“Help, I’m stressed”

It’s almost comical how many people tell me they feel stressed, but they won’t even try yoga or meditation.

(They tell me they’re stressed/anxious/worry-a-lot, I seem relaxed, and ask how I do it. I tell them “yoga and meditation,” but apparently they don’t like that answer.)

Understanding Zen koans in The Gateless Gate (Mumonkan) and The Blue Cliff Records

Present a sword if you meet a swordsman;
Don’t offer a poem unless you meet a poet.
When talking, tell one-third of it;
Don’t divulge the whole at once.

~ Mumon’s verse on Case 33 of the Mumonkan

One of the great things about the book, Two Zen Classics: The Gateless Gate and The Blue Cliff Records, translated by Katsuki Sekida, is that Mr. Sekida gives you information that you have no way of knowing if you’re studying Zen by yourself.

On wasting your time meditating

Meditation: If you’re not putting 100% of your being into it, you’re wasting your time.

~ a note to self