Exploring the 5th Paramita – Meditation
It seems committing to meditation is a brave thing to do. It means that we are willing to face into our selves. In sitting we have the chance to examine our narrow mindedness.
We have patterns of thinking – stories that prove that we are smart, attractive and altruistic. Stories that prove the opposite – that we are failures, unattractive – old, weak – and impoverished. We replay memories – how badly we did or how well we did – or might have done.
When we do this – We miss the quality of light or sounds in the room. The feeling textures –cool, warm, sticky, thick or thinn……
If we are brave in our sitting we can notice that we are caught in the story and choose to continue or notice our posture, the quality of light or sounds in the room.
We could choose to engage in the stories of our teachers and inspirations. We could remember the feeling of their energy, their smile, how they engaged in everyday situations….. they could become our model.
To do this we need to be brave enough to look at our minds. To see how they repeat thoughts and make the big effort to choose…..
“People have difficulty beginning a spiritual practice because they put a lot of energy into looking for the best and easiest way to get into it. We might have to change our attitude and give up looking for the best or the easiest way. Actually, there is no choice. Whatever approach we take, we will have to deal with what we are already. We have to look at who we are. According to the Buddhist tradition, the working basis of the path and the energy involved in the path is the mind—one’s own mind, which is working in us all the time. – CTR
In considering the recent disaster in New Jersey and New York it brought the issue of loss.
Somehow loss implies the possibility of bravery – are we brave enough to face into loss?
Verse #48 of the Tao –
The Student learns by daily increment.
The way is gained by daily loss,
Loss upon loss until
At last comes rest.
By letting go, it all gets done;
The world is won by those who let it go!
But when you try and try,
The world is then beyond the wining.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ― Winston Churchill
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ― Nelson Mandela
“We have to make a definite move to cross over the boundary from
cowardice to bravery. If we do so properly, the other side of our
cowardice contains bravery.” -CTR, Smile at Fear
So meditation is a way of bringing together generosity, discipline, patience and energy – the first 4 paramitas – to address how we ignore the fact of impermanence and interconnectedness. If we are brave we can see it and make a different choice thousands of times.