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Meditation as Life

edited June 2005 in Buddhism Today
My original intention for this thread was to start a little discussion about how we meditate doing various activities. Exercising, walking, sitting, breathing talking, sweeping, debating yada yada yada.
As I was thinking about how I would word this I realized that it's just this simple: anytime we are doing anything with focus, ie. not daydreaming, we are meditating.
I realize this most when I am reading a book and suddenly notice I have read the words of an entire paragraph but did not really pay attention to the meaning of the paragraph as a whole...just kinda going over the words robotically. That is most definitely not meditation.

Comments

  • edited June 2005
    meditation in life = action without agenda. just so.



    ^gassho
  • _BeautifulSpringtime_BeautifulSpringtime Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2005
    The question I have for everyone is:

    If you are focused throughout the day, living zazen, who are you?
  • comicallyinsanecomicallyinsane Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2005
    I am me and at the same time I am not.
  • _BeautifulSpringtime_BeautifulSpringtime Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2005
    I am me and at the same time I am not.

    ...and who is that?

    :)
  • edited June 2005
    The question I have for everyone is:

    If you are focused throughout the day, living zazen, who are you?

    Buddha. who else could you be? with your true nature and your original mind as one with all things.

    ^gassho^
  • _BeautifulSpringtime_BeautifulSpringtime Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2005
    :cheer:
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited June 2005
    Buddha non-party!!!! :lol:
  • edited June 2005
    The question I have for everyone is:

    If you are focused throughout the day, living zazen, who are you?
    I'm going to attempt to answer this (I don't know what zazen means, but I think it's a form of meditation....?).

    If I manage to stay focused for at least part of the day, I believe that I am still myself, but better. Because I am so focused I can do tasks quickly and efficiently, and my stress level is virtually non-existant when everyone else is panicked.

    It feels like....I don't know how to describe this.....a third-person point of view but through my eyes. It's like I'm mentally pulled away from the stressful moment. This is especially helpful where I work right now.

    Does that answer your question?

    Jules
  • _BeautifulSpringtime_BeautifulSpringtime Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2005
    It feels like....I don't know how to describe this.....a third-person point of view but through my eyes. It's like I'm mentally pulled away from the stressful moment.

    Jules

    Does it answer your questions?

    And Zazen is... well it just is! But for a more vague description - you're right, it's a form of meditation.

    :)
  • comicallyinsanecomicallyinsane Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2005
    This thread just made me laugh out loud. Not laughing at anyone. It just gave me a good feeling.
  • edited June 2005
    Littlegrasshoper'
    Perhaps the odd feeling you have when you are focused is actually your normal feeling. Maybe we spend so much of our time being a little out of focus that when the picture becomes clear we feel out of sorts a bit.
    I remind myself daily to check my feelings amd thoughts to see if they appear the way they do due to relativity.
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited June 2005
    http://www.local6.com/news/4574140/detail.html

    It is the examples of things like this that give me the effort to practice and reflect on life. I sometimes get lazy in my practice, that sleepy-content wandering through my life, until I see something like this. It makes my interested in the mind and to discover why we do this to ourselves. Such insanity helps me see and understand the Dhamma better. Dukkha is embodied in our perceptions and ideas about ourselves. "Oh they want me to be taller! Well, I guess to please them I should break my legs and slowly extend my bones to gain an inch or so. I'll be sure to be popular now." This is what the kilesas use to cause us suffering. This is what the Buddha wanted to free us from. I hope people use this as a meditation to realize the nature of our bodies. They are nothing special. We do not own them and they do not bring us happiness. The do not act they way we want, look the way we want, age the way we want, live as long as we want....they do what they naturally do. We should use the time we have in these bodies to develop as much wisdom as we can before they break apart.
  • edited June 2005
    thebatman wrote:
    Littlegrasshoper'
    Perhaps the odd feeling you have when you are focused is actually your normal feeling. Maybe we spend so much of our time being a little out of focus that when the picture becomes clear we feel out of sorts a bit.
    I remind myself daily to check my feelings amd thoughts to see if they appear the way they do due to relativity.
    What an interesting view! Never quite thought about it that way....now I'll have to!

    So my next question....does anyone else relate to this? ("This" being the kinda-third-person view through my/your eyes.) Am I doing this "right"? Is there a "right"? is this in focusness (because i've been out of focus) something i should strive for to achieve for most of my waking self? or just when i'm meditating? help! :confused:

    Thanks again for the point of view, batman.

    Jules
  • edited June 2005
    try not to "achieve" anything as soon as you try to do this you are in the grip of your conditioned mind. do you understand what the conditioned mind is? if not ask and I or someone will explain it for you. the point is at this stage your mind is not really your ally in all of this. it is great to question things and to try and look deeply into this. but when you ask yourself a question guess who will answer?! and that is the mind that only got you so far. the key for me, as I have said before, is for the mind to be a tool that I use and not to let it use me. I seek shunyata or emptiness so I can be clear enough to see and hear the teaching. emptying ourselves of all of our old judgments notions and concepts is how we begin to find the path. focus is a natural side effect of this. In zen it is called wiping the dust from the mirror.

    ^gassho^
  • edited June 2005
    No clue what the conditioned mind is, though i sense that it is what we (i?) have been taught is the mind and what a mind should be and therefore we are told that we need not seek further. in contrast to that societal precept, it is merely the logical and rational mind?

    i'm guessing.....on a thin limb.....high atop a tree.....

    Jules
  • edited June 2005
    conditioned mind is the mind that is full of preconcieved ideas,judgements and "knowledge". it is the mind that doesn't let you experience everything as new everytime you do it. what does your mothers _______(your favorite food here) taste like? say it is blueberry pie. now your conditioned mind thinks "this is what blueberry pie tastes like" so you will compare all other bbpies to this. but this is not so is it? this is just what the first pie you tasted was. so your mind created a false reality of what all pies taste like. do you see that? now look at every idea and concept you have. its all the same you judge and compare to something so you say "oh I already know...." and you do not experience it. this is where predjudice, fear, greed and all suffering roots. to empty the mind is to allow the truth of this moment to be. remember dirt does not , I repeat NOT, taste bad . It just tastes like dirt. have fun with this. sit and watch your mind . its quite a show! and finally you will see this:

    you are not your mind


    ^gassho
  • comicallyinsanecomicallyinsane Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2005
    Thanks Wolf. Now I have something new to practice. :)
  • edited June 2005
    Likewise. thanks for the explaination.

    Jules
  • edited June 2005
    thebatman wrote:
    My original intention for this thread was to start a little discussion about how we meditate doing various activities. Exercising, walking, sitting, breathing talking, sweeping, debating yada yada yada.
    As I was thinking about how I would word this I realized that it's just this simple: anytime we are doing anything with focus, ie. not daydreaming, we are meditating.
    I realize this most when I am reading a book and suddenly notice I have read the words of an entire paragraph but did not really pay attention to the meaning of the paragraph as a whole...just kinda going over the words robotically. That is most definitely not meditation.

    I would agree with you (if I understand you correctly) that meditation can occur while your doing just about anything with focus and doesn't have to be limited to a formal session. I actually have a little confession to make - I really don't get much out of formal meditation styles and therefore, I don't do it much at all. For me, taking a shower or walking between classes does more for me mentally than sitting quietly. Within all that, I notice that there are different kinds of meditation I do. Sometimes meditation is about just focusing on what I'm doing (used to do that kind while cleaning dishes). Othertimes, I really am thinking about a life issue. I tend to do that while walking or in the shower.

    Some people would probably say that's not meditation or even that I'm not Buddhist because I don't do formal meditation, but you know what - that's what works for me right now.
  • comicallyinsanecomicallyinsane Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2005
    I don't do a lot of formal meditation either. I can meditate whenever I decide to no matter what I doing. My mind clears and things change around me.
  • edited June 2005
    Zazen or meditation IS life. It is simply practice for life. "Formal" meditation is probably a misnomer. Creating a regular practice, wherever you do it, is the key. We took years and years of thinking to create our suffering state. We must practice to break the cycle. For me the practice is to not think. And when I do think to drop the thought with no attachment. Invariably thoughts arise I just do not cultivate them any further. To know that the incessant chatter in my mind is unnecessary is the key to breaking this bond.

    ^gassho^
  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2005
    Meditators of all disciplines (Buddhist, Christian and Sufi are my own experiences) come to the Silence where there is neither observer nor observed, neither this nor that.

    This is the gateless gate where all techniques fall away and all that is contingent falls back into the dynamic Sunyatta, pregnant with potential.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited June 2005
    "pregnant with potential."

    Why does that sound so.... juicy?
    Good post Simon.
  • edited June 2005
    Dharmakitten - I also don't do a lot of sitting meditation. You said you feel like you don't get a lot out of formal meditating...then you are doing it PERFECTLY!
  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2005
    Today's "Glimpse" from Rigpa is very apt to this point:
    Sit for a short time; then take a break, a very short break of about thirty seconds or a minute. But be mindful of whatever you do, and do not lose your presence and its natural ease. Then alert yourself and sit again. If you do many short sessions like this, your breaks will often make your meditation more real and more inspiring; they will take the clumsy, irksome rigidity, solemnity, and unnaturalness out of your practice and bring you more and more focus and ease.

    Gradually, through this interplay of breaks and sitting, the barrier between meditation and everyday life will crumble, the contrast between them will dissolve, and you will find yourself increasingly in your natural pure presence, without distraction.

    Then, as Dudjom Rinpoche used to say: “Even though the meditator may leave the meditation, the meditation will not leave the meditator.”
  • edited June 2005
    thebatman wrote:
    Dharmakitten - I also don't do a lot of sitting meditation. You said you feel like you don't get a lot out of formal meditating...then you are doing it PERFECTLY!

    Good to know, seeing how I'm such a perfectionist ;)
  • edited June 2005
    I try to do sitting meditation every morning. I usually cant do it for more than 15 minutes. The only time I have ever had an out of body meditation experiance was while I was at the Jam Yang studio in London doing yoga. It was amazing. I think the stretching helped as it gave me something to foccus on. I never even considered zazen as a daily ritual the way you guys have explained. But I will surely be more aware of those moments as more than what I thought they were.
  • emmakemmak Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2005
    sometimes i feel like i have do do a sitting meditation because then i can focus wholly on what i am doing. the breathing from yoga and pilates classes that i take also helps because i find i just cant focus on nothing. i need to breathe and focus only on that, but even then i struggle sometimes.
  • comicallyinsanecomicallyinsane Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2005
    I hear pilates is very good exercise. Would it be good for a bigger person?
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited June 2005
    It's good for anyone.....
  • comicallyinsanecomicallyinsane Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2005
    Ok I will rephrase my question. Would it be difficult for a bigger person? I am very limber but lately I am very creaky.
  • emmakemmak Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2005
    pilates is wonderful. i have a background in ballet, and have some arthritis, my physio recommended pilates. it is good for the whole body and it doesnt matter how old you are or your size or level of fitness. there is a lady in my class who is 71. she is an ex dancer too. it also complements yoga quite well, the posture and breathing etc.
  • comicallyinsanecomicallyinsane Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2005
    Ok. So no one really knows the answer to my question.
  • emmakemmak Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2005
    you should try it for yourself, i am sure you would be fine. it builds muscle around joints to strengthen core stability. or something. give it a go.
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