Page 3 icy night Linda Papanicolaou

The Practice of Meditation

by Dogen

              Truth is perfect and complete in itself. It is not something newly discovered; truth is not far away. It is nearer than near. There is no need to attain it, since not one of your steps leads away from it. Don't follow the advice of others; rather, learn to listen to the voice within yourself. Your body and mind will become one, and you will realize the unity of all things. Even the slightest movement of your conceptual thought will prevent you from entering the palace of wisdom. The Buddha meditated for six years; Bodhidharma for nine. If such effort was required of these ancient Masters, how much more is required of you. Your search among books, sifting and shuffling through other peoples words, may lead you to the depths of knowledge, but it cannot help you to see the reflection of your true self. When you have thrown away all your conceptions of mind and body, the original person will appear, in his fullness. To obtain the inestimable benefits of meditation, you should first make a firm decision to meditate every day. Your meditation room should be clean and quiet. Wear loose clothing and remove your shoes. Sit on a cushion, with legs crossed, in as comfortable a manner as possible. Keep your back straight. Don't lean tothe left or right; don't tip forward or bend back. Your ears should be in line with your shoulders. Keep your tongue at the roof of your mouth and close your lips.Your eyes should be slightly open, unfocused on the floor at a forty-five-degree angle. Breathe through your nostrils. Before you begin meditation, take several slow, deep breaths. Hold your body erect, allowing your breathing to become normal again. Many thoughts will crowd into your mind. Don't dwell on thoughts of good or bad. Don't desire to attain enlightenment. Let your thoughts come and go, without getting involved in them or trying to suppress them. Think the unthinkable. In other words, think no-thinking. Meditation is not a way to enlightenment, nor is it a method of achieving anything at all. It is peace and blessedness itself. It is the actuali- zation of wisdom, the ultimate truth of the oneness of all things. In your meditation, you yourself are the mirror reflecting the solution of your problems. The human mind has absolute freedom within its true nature. You can attain this freedom intuitively. Don't work toward freedom; but allow the work itself to be freedom. When you want to rest, move your body slowly, and quietly stand up. Practice this meditation in the morning or in the evening or at any leisure time during the day. You will soon realize that your mental burdens are dropping away one by one, and that you are gaining an intuitive power previously undreamed of. There have been thousands upon thousands of people who have practiced meditation and obtained its fruits. Don't doubt its possibilities because of the simplicity of its method. If you can't find he truth right where you are, where can you hope to go in search of it ? Life is short, and no one knows what the next moment will bring. Cultivate your mind while you still have the opportunity. You will soon discover the treasure of wisdom, which in turn you can share abundantly with others, bringing them happiness and peace.

                    To laugh often and love much; To win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiam and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Only Way
                    it's not my way to save the world and carry all of it's burdens and the sorrows of humanity upon my shoulders. it's not my way to embrace the world with open arms of love unrestrained and bare my heart to its painfulness. it's not my way to guide the world and all of the anguish that it holds to steer it down the long road from hate. it's not my way to teach the world to obey the religions of hope and peace and manipulate them into my beliefs. it's not my way to replenish the world with the happiness it has been stripped of by selfish thoughtless apathy. it's not my way to embelish the world with decorative thoughts of kindness and wishes for a brighter day. it's not my way to feed the world and fill the hearts that are hungry from a society that devours one another. it's not my way to restore the world to a condition of brotherly love and mercifully reach out my hand to help. it's not my way to inflict the world with a belief in a higher power of light that can guide them to an invisible faith. it's not my way to cradle the world from the path of desolation and loneliness it has induced upon itself over time. it's not my way to love the world and to treat every man as an equal killing off prejudice and limitations. it's not my way it's our way and it's the only way. by Lacie
                    1996e-mail Lacie
2nd page of Meditations & stuff More meditations & the way home