There will be a meditation gathering tonight at 8:00pm. This will include a 30-40min guided mp3 from Thailand, plus time to share talk, company, and tea afterwards. Expect some journals afterwards!
A new understanding has come over me—that I can choose to work hard, be productive, busy. Keeping this sort of focus is a routine way for me to get things done, and to feel accomplished. But they also involve a constant measuring of myself against outcomes, sometimes against external outcomes, over which I may or may not have so much control.
I decided recently to take on the practice of cultivating sincerity over laboriousness. Is my heart in what I’m doing? Even before I think about what I am doing, am I in tune with my heart? My genuineness? If so, I will work as hard as necessary, and more importantly, I will have more faith that I am working for the right reasons, no matter what I am doing.
Can this be a lesson to apply to our actions, and the person doing them? Can we use it to see new ways of applying ourselves to what we do? An excerpt from Confucian Analects expresses the same sentiments in the beginning of this post:
“Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles. Then no friends would not be like yourself (all friends would be as loyal as yourself). If you make a mistake, do not be afraid to correct it.”
I have had a long and busy week, and am proud of how well I am still able to relax the body and mind. I stretched my hips and knees before meditating, and used the centering technique mp3. I worked again with the approach of setting an example for my mind. I even used my posture, my breathing, the relaxation of different parts of my body, to act as an example for my mind. This again helped me detach from my thoughts, in the sense that I was not worried that there were thoughts. This is still a new feeling for me but I am glad to have had it again. It is a new feeling because I suppose I am not used to disidentifying from my thoughts so much. From accepting them to the degree that I don’t mind what they do, or what they are. Many times in the past when I have made such detachment the goal, there was still a very quiet desire for thoughts to go away. This was not so much the case today. I did not focus so much on the center as I did on relaxation, and though I was feeling a bit sleepy, I was very relaxed. I became grateful for the chance to practice this technique again, and feel like it may help me go deeper no matter what state of mind I am in when I begin meditating.
Before meditating: I felt calm and a desire for quiet, for space and slowing down of my mind.
After meditating: I feel much more calm, and I feel like I have space between “me” and the mind. Today I have learned a little about the me separate from my mind, which feels more truthful, and more able.
I meditated again today with my mom, to the second episode of the mp3s. We had such a great session, both having good posture and feeling light and loving afterwards (see pictures :)
I felt much better this time around meditating today than in the morning—my posture was better, more solid, and I felt I could relax my entire body, especially my shoulders and chest, which are always a little stiff. So I felt immensely calm, and truly peaceful. I had random faces of people I know and that are close to me come into my mind again, and I spread lovingkindness to them—teachers, family, my mom, our monk guiding us, friends.
I also had a lovely feeling of freedom from my mind—I felt as though my mind was a loud baby as the speaker advised, but then imagined the mind was a little older of a child, and I decided that I simply needed to do what I do with the teens I work with at my job—just keep a composure, keep calm myself, and be an example.
Instead of trying to steady, to control, to clear, to calm my mind, I just sat there trying to be a good EXAMPLE for my mind :)
This automatically made me feel separate from my mind, and not so focused on the state of my mind. I therefore was able to relax confidently and successfully. I am very happy now and feel peace within. I felt lightness, spaciousness, and some glowing pulsation in my center. My mom also felt relaxed and happy. Very happy for today’s sessions!
The technique of making myself an example for my mind rather than trying to control it felt very right and worked well today.
I found that when I focused on a point in the wall, halfway through my session, focusing on sincerity, I simply became happy. I realized that sincerity means that the work itself is an outcome, that the work itself feeds my heart, and purifies my mind, making it rightful, righteous, and making my being happy and contented.
I used slow breathing in my practice to calm my mind, and as Somsak Piyaseelo had advised in the mp3 I listened to (Lovingkindness), I saw the mind as wrapping everything, and I found that making the mind clean and straight, everything became lovely, and I felt that I could easily spread love to everything. I remembered the feeling of harnessing the mind, of radiating peace with it. It is as though my mind is clay and makes different shapes depending on its state. Today I focused on making it a peaceful shape, and saw that the peaceful shape shapes everything in the universe.
Through the lovingkindness prompts, I spontaneously beheld many different people in my life with lovingkindness, and saw their faces before me and my smile grew as I thought of them more intently.
Sincerity is something I will try to keep with me when I wake up and think of all the difficult things I will try to overcome each day. Sincerity feels like a beacon, readily and quickly righting my mind, steadying my sense of purpose and enhancing the feeling I may put into whatever I do and say. Sincerity, and peace following.
A beautiful session.
So I cannot tell you anything that, in a few minutes, will tell you how to be rich. But I can tell you how to feel rich, which is far better, let me tell you firsthand, than being rich. Be grateful.
Today I meditated to the mp3 episode 9. I maintained a steady posture and much relaxation. My body was tired and sleepy, and I bounced back into consciousness a few times during my meditation. However, this did not make for a bad or unfocused meditation. I felt very much in my awareness, and my body was so relaxed it felt very light, just as the mp3 was beginning to encourage. I really am glad as I did not know which mp3 I was selecting and it turned out to be very applicable to the session today for me.
I felt very light, like I was being described by space instead of substance.
My mind was still active, but with thoughts of gratitude, of Kuldeep, my meditation coach, and his encouragement for me to find an mp3 I like and push just a little harder to meditate again. For Venerable Somsak Piyaseelo, and his words. For my time to meditate today, and the ability for me to letttt go today, and to simply realize just as the monk advised, that my body has NO use right now. This had some symbolism to it, that my body was completely unused right now. I sat with that feeling of no direction, of no feeling, and naturally of “don’t know mind”. A seed has been watered more, and I am grateful.