As I sit here at work I find myself wishing I were still on vacation. It’s easy to see what the Buddha meant by the Second Noble Truth (the cause of suffering is clinging) at time like this. By clinging to pleasant events from the past and wishing that they didn’t have to end I am experiencing a basic form of suffering. I know there are a lot of people experiencing much greater suffering at this very moment, but sometimes the little sufferings that we all experience give us practice that helps us learn to bear the larger sufferings that we inevitably encounter in our lives.
As I write this I’m beginning to see the futility in wishing I were still on vacation. The best thing I can do is attempt to be fully present in this moment, and this moment, and this one too…
“Meditation is not a matter of trying to achieve ecstasy, spiritual bliss, or tranquillity, nor is it attempting to become a better person. It is simply the creation of a space in which we are able to expose and undo our neurotic games, our self-deceptions, our hidden fears and hopes.”
~ Chögyam Trungpa
I’m spending the week before Christmas in Texas at my sister’s place in San Antonio. Being with her fiancé’s family this evening I realize that I have so much to be thankful for. Living on this country at this point in history I have opportunities that people a hundred years ago could only imagine. I am blessed with a loving family, a dear wife and a great job to go back to once this vacation is over. I am truly blessed and so thankful for that fact.
During my sits I typically try to stay focused on the breath, noting anything that distracts me. Yesterday I decided it was time to change things up. For the next week whenever I sit I will only be doing metta (aka loving-kindness). I’m not sure what, if any, impact this will have on my practice or my heart, but I’m willing to give it a shot and see what happens.
May you all be well.
May you all be safe.
May you all be happy.
Lately, while meditating, I feel as if I am stuck as far as progress goes. I’ve heard it said that sometimes it’s better to just sit without the striving. That is hard advice for me to follow since much of my life off the cushion is so goal-oriented, always eager to be doing the next activity. I bring that baggage with me when sitting and oftentimes will cut my session short due to restlessness.
Just be. Simple, yes. Easy, not so much.