All of us who meditate regularly develop our own little quirks and idiosyncrasies in our practice. I haven’t tested this personal theory but here is an example of one of mine and I would appreciate any comments you might have about your practice.
As I have stated before, I do open eye meditation from the Zen school of Buddhism. That is, I keep my eyes open throughout the meditation and keep my gaze fixed on a single spot in front of me, usually an image in my iPhone meditation timer which I place in front of me. However, most people in our Western communities learn meditation in the traditional method with eyes closed. This choice to use the open eye method is however not one of my individual idiosyncrasies. But it does lead into one that I do have and that is, that I usually like to face east when I have a choice of direction, at least at home. Continue reading
Why? Why am I paying a barber to cut my hair with a clipper on #2 setting when there is hardly any hair left on top? Why am I bothering? What is the difference between #2 and #0 I thought? Not much I thought. Why not just start shaving it off and save myself the barbers fee? So I did, I shaved it all off that weekend, secure in the knowledge that I could always let it grow back if I didn’t like it. But little did I know that my biggest lesson in how attachment works was to be found in that seemingly simple rational decision.
I was just starting to read a lot of books on Buddhism at this time, Continue reading
I awoke naturally, rested and calm about 6:15 am. Snug and warm in my sleeping bag, revelling in waking without the alarm. Eager to get up and go for a walk but given the darkness outside reading a little of Lama Surya Das’s “Awakening the Buddha Within” seems the better option. As is becoming usual his words lift my spirits and keep the course processes rolling. Pale dawn light starts to lift the darkness through the window so out of the cocoon, into warm clothes and off for my walk. It has been some time since I have been able to indulge in the pleasure of an early morning winter walk and I have been looking forward to this.
But which way? Our service team leader had warned us about staying on the bush tracks, of the dangers of cliffs, and the extra time it takes to walk back uphill. Therefore I figure that I need to head downhill on a bush track to get the views I long for. I also sensed that the tracks were on the other side of the main building so set off in that direction. The trail to the right of a fork looked interesting. I passed an outdoor campfire site on my left, complete with strategically placed logs around it as seating. A piece of branch, ideal for a walking stick, presented itself on the track and on I tramped now aided by my new found friend the branch. Ah, the beautiful fresh air, the birds singing, the fresh smells of the bush are all enervating and I revel in it. My joy is dampened a little by the sight of the same campsite appearing on my left again. I am going round in a circle! And there was the main building again.