Hi everybody. I used to write once a week for this site, and now I’m back. As I used to, I am once again coming up with these posts during my meditations. Silly mind, focus on breath.
I’ve gone through many stages with my practice since 2012 when I sat my first course. It’s been an intense and marvelous journey. After my third course, I decided it was time to do an entire year with two sits a day. I achieved that, and it was great. Then, I mixed it up for a bit, meditating only about an hour a day most of the time, and for a few months I didn’t sit at all. It was in June this year that I was inspired to sit consistently again, and I have done so since.
What inspired me? I went to the center nearest my house and served for three days. After lunch on the first day, I went to the assistant teacher for an interview. I didn’t really have a question, per say, but I went on a bit of a ramble like this:
“I feel like I’m on this path whether I like it or not. I’m getting more and more moments of clarity, but I don’t know how they come about. I don’t know what to do…”
(Something like that. What I mean by “I feel like I’m on this path whether I like it or not,” is that during the last year when I wasn’t doing two sits a day, I was still doing what I felt was acting in truth. My seeking or development in the Dhamma continued in different ways, because it’s what I’m called to do, even without a daily sit.)
“So,” he said, “You’re asking what is a good goal to have.”
I thought, “Yeah… That IS my question.”
“Well… A good goal to have would be to get two sits in every day.”
He went on, “What is more beneficial… Meditating twice a day, or once a week? …And keeping your sila perfect.”
I turned away in thought, because the following week I had plans to alter my mind with some psychoactive plant medicine. He saw my reaction, but I didn’t share that information with him.
He went on, “Maybe you’re not ready for that, but you have to ask yourself what’s really more beneficial for you.”
The next few days at the center, that was in my mind. In the quiet cabin that I was in, I layed on my bed and thought about it. What’s really beneficial? Breaking my sila next week by taking an intoxicant or meditating twice a day and keeping my sila perfect? I knew the answer. It came as a small, but supremely intelligent and certain voice.
“You know what to do.”
And I did. The voice was small, where as the rest of me felt bigger than it, but clumsier. There was certainty in that response, and I listened to it. There was just a small percentage of me, say, 3%, that said, “Meditate twice a day and keep your sila perfect.” I trusted that 3% one hundred percent. The power of that voice has diminished slightly since then. I don’t always feel that strong certainty that I did that day, but I’m still giving that moment at the centre the benefit of the doubt. I’m glad I am, because this practice works and is very important for my well being. Find the space to listen to that small voice, and give it credit. Sometimes it means going to a centre for a short Metta re-charge. Sometimes it means meditating.
Writing for this site helps me with my practice, but I’d also like it to help you (readers) as much as possible. If there’s a topic you want me to write about or anything else you’d like to share, comment on this post or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit flexanimousart.blogspot.ca for other writings and things I explore.