Calm Abiding

Besides settling the mind, mindfulness meditation develops a certain kind of strength, a sort of mindfulness muscle, and cultivates stability so that every thought doesn’t drag us out of the room. Hostile thoughts, sexual thoughts, thoughts about ice-cream don’t just drag us away. We are able to be steady and present with whatever arises in our mind – that’s why this practice is also known as calm abiding. ~ David Nichtern

Tricycle’s 28-day meditation challenge ~ February 1st

1 February is the first day of Tricycle’s 28 – day meditation challenge.

If you are like me, you have a zillion books to read. Well, maybe not a zillion, but near that many! 🙂  So the prospect of getting another book…well, it was daunting.

You can take this challenge without having to buy a book.  Click here for the link.

My thoughts:  The most important part of the 28 days will be the act of sitting every day. Lately, I have been sitting almost every day with #OMCru & #Drepung (twitter groups). Knowing there are others sitting with me at the same time…even if we are a world apart works well for me. I am curious to see how my days unfold as I move along the month.

Hoping you will join me and many others as we ‘Commit to Sit’ .

Been there? Done that? 🙂 Let’s start again, who knows what you will learn this time around!

Meditation Should Be Joyful

When explaining meditation, the Buddha often drew analogies with the skills of artists, carpenters, musicians, archers, and cooks. Finding the right level of effort, he said, is like a musician’s tuning of a lute. Reading the mind’s needs in the moment—to be gladdened, steadied, or inspired—is like a palace cook’s ability to read and please the tastes of a prince.

Collectively, these analogies make an important point: Meditation is a skill, and mastering it should be enjoyable in the same way mastering any other rewarding skill can be. The Buddha said as much to his son, Rahula: “When you see that you’ve acted, spoken, or thought in a skillful way—conducive to happiness while causing no harm to yourself or others—take joy in that fact and keep on training. ~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu

This daily dharma came to me today and as always, was right on time.

Most of the time, we feel like we should be ‘the best’ or dare I say it, ‘perfect,’ from the start of anything we attempt to do.

Those feelings of ‘should be’ keep us from learning, growing, and becoming the true person we are.

Meditation is a skill (as stated above). So how can I expect to be ‘good’ at anything if I do not practice?

It takes Practice.