Posts Tagged ‘Meditations2’

Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano writes in his introduction:Landscapes of Wonder book cover

The faith of the Buddhist grows out of experience fortified by instruction.  The Buddha shows how to make the journey out of suffering to emancipation, and if we feel quickening of interest we can take steps ourselves to investigate and to test what we have learned. This collection of essays is about finding the right direction and then moving forward with mindfulness and deliberation (page xi).

I hope that sharing these ideas and my musings about them will help you discover the power of your practice, to allow it to enlighten and brighten your life, to help bring you to a place of peace, love, and compassion for self and others each and every day.

This journey is never an easy one because we are required to look within, to set aside time to mediate, contemplate, and to push through our fears, anxieties, old beliefs, and doubts.  However, with determination, concentration, and support from the author and others on the path all things are possible!

Bhikkhu goes on to write:

Fortunately the teaching of the Buddha is universal, giving us the chance not just to admire what others have admired but to make our own search—to observe, meditate, and discover through our own efforts (page xii).

Thus, it does not matter if you were raised in a non-religious household or a religious one of any denomination or teaching truth is truth no matter where it comes from.  In your life I know that you have discovered what you believe through actions propelled from book learning, intuition, help from another, or seemingly by accident.  It does not matter how it came the important thing is that it did.  It gave you that cosmic AH HA! Or Yikes—Or Oh my god!  It could have felt like you were hit with a hammer, a banana, or a cream pie, but hit you were!

I hope our wandering through this wonderful book will give you many cosmic experiences! Good luck with that…


Read Full Post »

Throughout this series I have stressed the idea that “peace begins with me” and so long as I am not at peace with myself how can I see peace in others or be a part of a community of peace. I remember someone saying that some of the most un-peaceful people he had ever met were at a peace rally!

Thanissaro Bhikkhu writes in this wonderful book MEDITATIONS2 , “The Buddha said that the mind can be at peace only when it’s one, but for most of us there are two, three, four, five, six voices going at it, with all their different values and preconceptions… (page 150)”[1] You see we can be at war with ourselves as easily as with other individuals, groups, religions, countries and in the future maybe even worlds!

Peace is an elusive thing. One minute I have it and the next minute I don’t. It can be as simple as hearing something on the news that will yank me right out of the peaceful state I’ve been in. Or maybe it is the ringing of the phone in the middle of my meditation. Or perhaps a judgmental or critical thought pops up about a friend or relative. One minute I am practicing mindfulness while eating and the next minute my mind has moved out of peaceful contemplation on the plate of food before me into criticism or jealousy or pain.

Why oh why is peace so hard to maintain? Thanissaro Bhikkhu goes on to say, “We hold onto so many things not because we like them but because we’re afraid that if we don’t hold onto them something even worse is going to happen (page 150).[2] And thus these thoughts pop up at any time and in any place! The power of the mind is incredible and will draw us away from the most beautiful meditation for what seems to be no reason at all. So what is the solution?

He gives us some simple advice to deal with the rambling persistent voice in our head!

If anything gets in the way of concentration, put a question mark next to it. Do you really believe that? Is that kind of thinking really right? Is it really useful? When you start asking yourself this question, you begin to see how much you’ve been holding onto things you’ve never really examined in the past. You just accepted them because other people said they were true, or they sounded right, or maybe they worked once, and then you held onto them as a habit. So you have to make it a rule within yourself: An unexamined voice isn’t worth listening to (page 150-51). [3]

Thus it is important for us to learn how to examine our beliefs about the things that are drawing us away from our peace.

He goes on to say:

You need to learn how to see through those voices. That’s what they are: just disembodied voices floating around there in the mind. Learn how to put a question mark next to them saying, “I wonder if that’s really true? Maybe I can look into it some other time.” Then put the issue aside and go back to work, focusing on the breath (page 151).[4]

What appeared to be that elusive peace can return easily and you can regain your composure and focus and simply: be peace. Let’s try it now. Close your eyes, take three deep slow breaths, and count one on the in breath and two on the out breath. . .be one with your breath.

AHHHHHHHHH that felt great! Peace at last in mind, body, and spirit. Keep it up—I think you’ll like it if you do!


[1] DeGraff, G (Thanissaro Bhikkhu), Meditations2 Dhamma Talks, The Abbot Metta Forest Monastery, Valley Center, CA

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

Read Full Post »