4 Aug. Mindfulness of heedlessness.

Awaken at 4 am by worry. After 4 hours of sleep. I sat at the kitchen table tired and dizzy. A little bit embarrassed too. Not particularly excited by the prospect of spending next 8 hours in the air-conditioned nightmare, not ready at all for the challenges of the day.

I read two poems by Ryokan Taigu while sipping on my damn good coffee. Hermits have a head start. The fortunate and privileged ones. No worries about the money. No worries about the kids. No disturbing and sickening human interactions.

I meditated for 30 minutes. I started off with mantra (15 minutes). Remaining time – anapanasati. Aching back. Drowsy. At first I tried to achieve a focus. Silly me. But then I remembered what Ajahn Brahm said about mindfulness. And instead of trying to divert my attention from tiredness and irritation I acknowledged them. I told myself: I’m tired, my back hurts, it’s not a great morning at all…

I became mindful of the pain and dissatisfaction. That was my practice this morning. And I was able to sit through it. I was able to maintain mindfulness. I was observant. I accepted whatever arose in my mind. I did not judge. I did not create a story. And honestly, the pain became less and less.

A damn good sitting, if you ask me.


Ryokan Taigu:

Too Lazy To Be Ambitious

Too lazy to be ambitious,
I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days’ worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.

Yes, I’m Truly A Dunce

Yes, I’m truly a dunce
Living among trees and plants.
Please don’t question me about illusion and enlightenment —
This old fellow just likes to smile to himself.
I wade across streams with bony legs,
And carry a bag about in fine spring weather.
That’s my life,
And the world owes me nothing.

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