A mind that is quiet is naturally attentive.
And a mind that is attentive is naturally quiet.
Although Buddhists regard formal meditation practice as necessary,
it is not the form of the meditation that is the key, but the act of focused attentiveness
- that which happens when you give yourself completely to a task at hand,
whatever that happens to be.
Source: Quiet Food - The Buddhist Institute of South Africa ISBN 1 919930 62 0
i’ve tried to make meditation part of my daily life. i say ‘tried’ because it certainly is not as much a part of my daily life as i would like it to be - i miss meditating on so many days, but i keep trying.
i’m trying to achieve a sense of being in the moment. and only that.
i believe it has been useful to me in slowing down the headlong rush of my life, the habit of always looking ahead and often thinking of the past, to the neglect of each moment. i feel that life slows down and time seems to stretch when i’m in the moment. when i’m absorbed and ‘in the flow’ as i’ve heard it put
i was given a book
Meditation in Action by Chogyam Trungpa ISBN-10: 159030876X
which i found really good. this book is all you need to understand meditation and to start practicing
Jon Kabat-Zinn in his book Wherever You Go, There You Are ISBN-10: 1401307787
says - quoting the Amazon.com Review: “… meditation is important because it brings about a state of "mindfulness," a condition of "being" rather than "doing" during which you pay attention to the moment rather than the past, the future, or the multitudinous distractions of modern life.”
more recently, i was accepted as a novice monk at Wat Pah Nanachat , a monastery in the
Theravada Forest Tradition, situated in the northeast part of Thailand in Isan Province - see the image at the head of this blog.
the monastery aims at providing English-speaking people the opportunity to train and practise the ancient lifestyle that the Buddha taught his monks in the forests over 2500 years ago.
for the three weeks of my stay, i was able to participate fully in the life of the monastery and this experience has profoundly influenced my life. i was able to practice many hours of sitting meditation in the salle and walking meditation along the many paths meandering around the grounds of the monastery. waking call is at 3am, followed by chanting and meditation, leaf-sweeping and then on to the alms-round. the single meal of the day is at 8am. question and answer sessions and other opportunities to enquire about Buddhist practices are provided, though no mediation instruction is given.
Movement is good for the body, and stillness is good for the mind.
~ Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche