March 29, 2008
The Golden Cord
Let us for a moment suppose you’re ill. You decide to go to the doctor’s in order to find out what exactly is wrong with you, what the cause is, and most importantly, how to get better. You sit in front of him and he pulls out his little torch, asks you to say “aaahhhh” and sees that your throat is inflamed and as red as a beetroot – it’s an infection. That is the problem. He then does some more tests and identifies the bacteria that are causing the illness. Then he prescribes a suitable antibiotic and gives you precise instructions regarding the amount to be taken and how often to take it. You then go home and start to take the medicine as directed. After completing the course you recover.
March 21, 2008
“Even if my flesh and blood dry up… I will not leave this seat until I have attained Full Enlightenment.”
The Buddha-to-be, prior to his enlightenment.
Here we look at determination – one of the Ten Perfections – both in general terms and in relation to our meditation.
I recall a time on personal retreat when I was struggling somewhat. I was sat cross-legged in my kuti feeling particularly down – I had little enthusiasm to do anything and this negative state of mind felt like a sumo wrestler sitting on top of me. In Thai they have an expression meaning he or she is ‘in hell‘; that summed up my state of mind. Never-the-less, when it was time to go outside to do walking meditation I peeled myself up off the floor and dragged myself to my path.
March 14, 2008
Oswold the Owl and the Two Silly Birds
Once upon a time there lived three friends in an old oak wood upon a small hill. They were Pablo the Parrot, Molly the Magpie, and Oswold the Owl.
I’ve decided not to continue with the series of five posts on meditation that I’d planned. I’ve learnt that it’s not always a good idea to say you’ll be writing / talking about something several weeks from now. It can kill spontaneity. (Plus I’m fed up of talking about the plane!)
Playing with Toys in a House that’s Burning Down
Before I became a monk I had an experience which caused an earthquake in the depths of my being and which undoubtedly turned me in the direction of devoting my life to the practice of the Dhamma.