Meditation gets us away from reaching and grasping and winning and losing and honor and disgrace. This lack of ulterior motive makes meditation a friendly time. All our daily reaching and grasping and getting somehow sticks to us and when we meditate it unsticks and falls off. With music for meditation from Jordan McConnell & Michael Wilding.
Meditation is beyond success, failure, honor, disgrace. Every shame or guilt, every anguish: they limit us.
Hakuin says, if you do meditation even once, all your crimes are wiped away. Every time you give to the practice, it will be returned to you. Gain and loss are not part of the equation.
The hereness of meditation starts to take over, and then I’m more here. What’s here? Tremendous sweetness. Manjushri sees the emptiness and Guanyin just loves it all.
Some days are just harder than others. You’ll make your way through, across the stream, on the stepping stones. Practice is a good thing. Enjoying yourself and play are always there if you’ll just allow it.
What degree of effort to use in practice? Getting it right is tricky. What to do when you’ve tried everything? Meditation is something else to do. We have an initial reason to practice but then we transcend that.
With reading from Martin Amis, poem from N. Scott Momaday, John Tarrant’s Apricot Tree haiku.
Dharma Talk in Sunday Zen, recorded June 11, 2023.
Meditation gets us away from reaching and grasping and winning and losing and honor and disgrace. This lack of ulterior motive makes meditation a friendly time. There is also a purification that goes on when we meditate every day, or every week or every second.
All our daily reaching and grasping and getting somehow sticks to us and when we meditate it unsticks and falls off. We become faithful to life and even effort is not effort.
Changqing Da’an said,
I lived with Guishan for more than thirty years. I ate Guishan’s food, I shat Guishan’s shit, but I didn’t study Guishan’s Zen. All I did was look after an ox.
I trained him with a whip. For a long time he was so pitiful, at the mercy of everyone’s words! If he got off the road, I dragged him back; if he trampled the grain in others’ fields,
Now he’s changed into the white ox on the bare ground, always right in front of my face. All day long he clearly reveals himself; even if I chase him he doesn’t go away.
—PZI Miscellaneous Koans, Case 67: Guishan’s Zen