18 Jan. Sorry, Buddha.

My Monday evening sitting was a very special one. Worry and negativity took the best of me and I finished my meditation in a state of anger, frustration and agitation. I’m pretty sure this is not how meditation should work. But I’m no expert… My mindfulness was weak. So there was only me and my negative self-talk. I read Kurt Vonnegut afterwards. It cheered me up. A sense of humour is a sign of wisdom.

I’ve been sitting every evening this week for 20-30 minutes. Zazen (shikantaza). Not focused on anything in particular. Just taking everything in and letting it go. Despite having my eyes open, at times I would stop seeing completely. It is not to say that I saw darkness. It was as if my sense of sight was taken away from me. Spooky.

In between the sessions: worry, worry, worry. The usual stuff. The same as yours. And yours, Sir. And yours, Madam. And yours, Mx. As if I’ve never meditated in my life. Or perhaps it would have been much worse had I not have a meditation practice? I’m sure it would have been… I still remember how I was before meditation.

Last night it was raining. Sitting in meditation and listening to rain and wind. What a bliss. Afterwards I listened to Portishead first album “Dummy”. Calling it beautiful would be an understatement: there is life after death.

A few poems that caught my attention this week:

A Meal of Fresh Octopus
Lots of arms, just like Kannon the Goddess;
Sacrificed for me, garnished with citron, I revere it so!
The taste of the sea, just divine!
Sorry, Buddha, this is another precept I just cannot keep.

[Ikkyu]

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.

[Ryokan]

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.

[Ryokan]

8 thoughts on “18 Jan. Sorry, Buddha.

  1. Hi Adrian. As always you are expressing what so many meditators experience. Thank you for that! You are dealing with what might be the number one enemy of inner peace – expectations. It was my major nemsis for a long time.

    When I started out I had a long list of expectations that made the practice miserable for me. It took a long time for me to let them go. I’ve started a series of tips for those starting out and for experienced practitioners who are struggling.

    Many will not agree with my suggestions but all I ask is to try them out and see how the practice goes. I hope it’s ok to post this link here. http://mindmusing.net/starting-meditation-how-long-to-sit/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Eric. I fully agree with you! Both expectations and judgements can be very damaging. I certainly struggle with both! Thank you for the link. I will definitely check it out! All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I personally struggled with expectations for a long time. Ironically, the source of this was the same as that which got me started in meditation…books! While the uplifting stories of bliss and enlightenment were motivating, they became burdens as I kept measuring myself against what I read. I was a slow learner! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I agree with Eric here, Adrian. Can you let go of the idea of how meditation ‘should work’? Perhaps you would not have felt the Portishead so deeply (great album indeed) had you not sat with your frustrations.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I also agree with Eric. And I’m trying to root out the judging… I’m very aware how useless and harmful expectations/judging are. Those two are my biggest obstacles to achieving peace and freedom. I will get there eventually. Because the alternative is… misery.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Over the years I found “judging judgements” one of the most difficult to release. As I said above, I kept reading about ‘correct’ meditation and its effects so was constantly judging whether I was matching up to what I was reading. I can sum up the process with the childhood travel question “are we there yet?” with the question itself being the answer. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know this! I have a very curious mind and once I find something interesting, I want to know all about it. I’m more relaxed now… I still read about Buddhism/Meditation but prefer Buddhist/Taoist poetry or recorded saying of old masters over books about meditation. I sometimes feel that a few verses from Tao Te Ching, or Faith in Mind are wroth way more than books I’ve read. “Judging judgements”… I like it! I need to remember that. Yeah, not judging judgements is a real challenge!

      Like

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