Thursday, September 06, 2012

Being Still

Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?
-Lao Tzu in the Tao-te-Ching

Have you ever sat still for one hour in a totally silent room where the only sound is the sound of your own heartbeat? I tried it again last night when I went for another meditation session at the Drepung Gomang Institute. Let me tell you this. It was challenging. My eyes were closed most of the time and my mind was focused on my breath. I was occasionally restless and it was a mistake to do it after a meal. Meditation is best on an empty stomach. Occasionally I opened my eyes and looked around the room. Even the Buddhist monk leading the meditation sometimes had to adjust his position. It was encouraging that even this gentle monk was a little restless and uncomfortable. It is a good thing to be still. You learn patience and you become more aware. In our hyper culture and lifestyles, it is a good thing to sometimes do nothing, be still, and breathe.

I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content.
One world is aware, and by far the largest to me, and that is myself,
And whether I come to my own today or in ten thousand or ten million years,
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness, I can wait.
-Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass

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