When I sit and observe my mind, I realise that almost all my thoughts are driven by greed, aversion and delusion. This is extremely weird as my behaviour in daily life is different: there are very little hatred and greed. The only thing I am not very proud of is my tendency to complain and criticise. But that one hurts myself more than anyone else. And fear. Why wasn’t fear mentioned by Buddha as one of the defilements? Or was it?
I listen to talks by Ajahn Martin. He allowed me to understand that the three marks of existence also apply to unwholesome mind states. My defilements are not mine. Defilements manifest themselves in me due to countless conditions I have very little control or understanding of. They are like dukkha. They simply are. Because they are not me, not mine, not myself I can go beyond them. If they were really me, mine, myself, there wouldn’t be any way out.
I also listen to Ajahn Sumedho. He said that during meditation we shouldn’t try to get rid of kleshas, destroy them, overpower them, rather bring them to light, look at them and understand them.
These days I meditate whenever I can. This is not my goal to meditate every day. I don’t track it. I don’t evaluate it. I am now able to sit more than when I dedicated a fixed amount of time each day for sitting. And it’s easier to sit. It’s more natural. Less forceful. I no longer say to myself, ok, now it is time to meditate for 20 minutes. But when I find myself alone (in the morning when my family is asleep, in the evenings when my kids are in beds and wife is busy upstairs), I simply sit down, be it on the cushion, be it on the couch or in the chair, and bring my attention to the breath, and observe my mind’s fabrications as being impermanent, unsatisfactory and non-self. I finish when it is time to leave for work, or when my family needs me.
Sometimes I just sit and say Nembutusu. Sometimes I fall asleep. Then I wake up and continue to meditate. Sometimes when my mind is very tired I stop and do walking meditation. And then come back to sitting. It helps a lot. You should try it.
My aspiration is to bring the qualities of meditation into daily life. So my practice can continue to support it, but also so my life can support my practice. In the beginning, my meditation was therapeutic. I did it to feel better. The more I learn about Buddhism the more my practice becomes religious. I know – “religious” is just another word. But here on WordPress words are tolerated.