When I meditate each day, I observe how the default mode network in my brain takes over each time I lose my focus. And each time, I die a little bit. My body is there, but my mind is not. I pop in and out of existence. When my mind wanders – what is that which decides to bring my attention back to the breath? Those words from “Dhammapada” are true beyond a shadow of a doubt: Awareness is the place of the deathless; unawareness is the place of death.
I keep the copy of “Dhammapada” and Gil Fronsdal’s translation of the “Book of Eights” in the kitchen cabinet. It is wonderful to be able to always reach for those books and read for a few minutes. Now I know better – this is so important and beneficial to read about Dhamma every day and through reading hold Buddha in mind. I, for instance, prefer those sutras written in verse.
Next month, I am purchasing: “Tao Te Ching” (translated by Stephen Mitchell). I really think that Daoism has way more in common with Early Buddhism (those sutras that don’t even mention the basic concepts constituting what we call today Buddhism) than it does with Chan. I love it.