CATCHING UP WITH THE ZENDO
Hello and Namaste’ to anyone who has happened upon this blog today or tomorrow, which of course is still today. Any of you who is curious about this blog and about meditation in particular may wish to check out my earlier post entitled “Shaking The Boddhi Tree” from February of this year.
One of Buddha’s gifts to the world, and perhaps even his greatest gift was the meditation technique known as “vipassana”, “insight meditation” or simply “mindfulness”. Rather than a technique to acquire or achieve something, it is a method that helps understand the movement of the mind we call the self. Much of it has to do with “letting go” which as beginning meditators we often confuse with casting off or throwing away something we don’t like on ourselves.
Believe you me, there was a time when I thought I could perform psychic surgeries on myself and rid myself of the ego. There were even moments that I had convinced myself that I had succeeded. What’s became evident over the years was this was all so much wishful thinking. Time after time, it would come back full force or be driven underground, but never erased. Sadly, temporary transcendence was all the guided meditations I had experienced had ever attempted to offer me. That was, until mindfulness…
SALVE-ATION THROUGH MEDITATION
I don’t know about you, but I am rarely inspired by the guided meditations published by others. I often find them to be convoluted or silly or full of inaccurate assumptions about how I am feeling about myself. The good news is that we can devise our own meditations, and like a Medicine Buddha write prescriptions for ourselves (this is a metaphor for spiritual healing, so please do NOT attempt to sue me when my meditations do not cure you of your cancer) Anyway, here are some of my methods:
1) Focus on the breath a few moments and in between ask yourself “What am I clinging to?” Alternate between focusing on the breath and the question until you wish to end the meditation.
2) Recall one by one different moments where individuals in your life have shown you love. Rather than clinging greedily to what you hope they will give you, experience each of the moments in its fullness. Realize that the love you have been given is enough.
3) Recall the times you have felt rejected by others or not acknowledged in some way by them. What does this make you feel? What does their reaction and your feelings really say about yourself?
4) One by one practice letting go of expectations of others, of yourself, of situations, of experiences. Ask yourself, “Am I ever really in control?” If you feel that you are, what is it that the sense of being in control gives you?
5) One by one, bring up each of the things you consciously desire in front of you and examine them. Ask yourself, what will possessing these things give you that you have not already?
6) Have an image of the Buddha in front of you or hold an image of him in your mind’s eye. Say to yourself “I will sit like the Buddha, be resolute like the Buddha. I will be a rock, a friend to the self, who can defend the self,protect the self like a lion and find enlightenment”. Continue to dwell on the image and the idea of being immovable and still, esp. in the face of change.
I invite you to try any or all of these meditations, or riff on them or even come up with your own. My only suggestion is to keep it simple enough that you don’t struggle to remember it while in meditation and to try it out a few times before giving up on the meditation.. Don’t hesitate to share your experiences if you wish . I would love to hear how it goes for you.
Jennifer Warren #WF1092
CIW WA 807 Up
16756 Chino Corona Rd
Corona CA 92880
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