My practice is flourishing. This morning, I sat for an hour. So simple. Watch the breath. Short. Long. Deep. Shallow. You are not breathing. When you are breathing, you want to control the breath. It is not even that your body is breathing. Not even – the body is breathing. A body is breathing. When I do it this way, it is so easy.
Tons of stress in work. Stomachache pain for two days. On Wednesday an awful attack of cramp (more like paralysis) in my back and neck. For a few days, I would go straight to bed after work and sleep. So how is it possible that my meditation practice is flourishing? I think that there are things one can’t fix. Dukkha. I think that to practice Dhamma is not alway to find solutions. Sometimes it is to watch things fall apart with a joyful and equanimous mind. Now I see it. This morning I woke up like Lazarus of Bethany. Like Klingsor from the novella by Hermann Hesse. I mowed the lawn. Walked the dog. Watered the plants in my garden. Went for a walk with my family. And meditated.
In great despair a few days ago I listened to “Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind”. I loved it. Shunryu Suzuki. Kodo Sawaki. Layman Pang. Ikkyu. My heroes.
When we practice zazen our mind is calm and quite simple. But usually our mind is very busy and complicated, and it is difficult to be concentrated on what we are doing. This is because before we act we think, and this thinking leaves some trace. Our activity is shadowed by some preconceived idea. The thinking not only leaves some trace or shadow, but also gives us many other notions about other activities and things. These traces and notions make our minds very complicated. When we do something with a quite simple, clear mind, we have no notion or shadows, and our activity is strong and straightforward. But when we do something with a complicated mind, in relation to other things or people, or society, our activity becomes very complex. [Zen Mind, Beginners Mind]
At the same time, I read Theravadian sutras. They go beautifully together.
Concentration by mindfulness of breathing, Ananda, is the one thing which, when developed and cultivated, fulfills the four establishments of mindfulness. The four establishments of mindfulness, when developed and cultivated, fulfill the seven factors of enlightenment. The seven factors of enlightenment, when developed and cultivated, fulfill true knowledge and liberation. [SN 54.13]