February 10, 2012
It's Day 10 of the meditation challenge and I hope everyone's doing well! I was up very early this morning and when this happens I feel the illusion of efficiency and wonder how all the lazy people still sleeping ever get anything done. I consider it a very mild form of mania, exacerbated by caffeine consumption.
I had too much tea this morning, which made me wired and anxious, and then I inconveniently crashed back to earth around the time I was supposed to get to work, so I needed another caffeine boost. I've never considered myself a caffeine addict so I've never thought about stopping taking caffeine altogether, but after today, I'm realizing it may be the time!
One legend says the first tea leaves grew from Bodhidharma's eyelids: He'd cut them off in order to stay awake as he sat facing a wall for nine years. In honor of his "invention" of tea I went looking for a Bodhidharma image and found the one above, which is from an Indian film, 7th Sense, which has been criticized for its lack of historicity:
The founder of Sailum Zen Monastery in Bangalore, Babu T. Raghu disputes the ‘historical' account on ‘Bodhidharma' in the movie and terms it as ‘completely erroneous'.
“The life and legend of the 28th Zen Patriarch Bodhidharma was distorted to suit the requirement of the movie script, and hence, the character of the monk suffered extensively. None of the ‘historical' aspects as shown in the movie are correct,” he argues.
If there’s one lesson that runs through pretty much every Buddhist tradition, it’s this: There are no magic solutions. Our belief in magic solutions that may happen some day in the future keeps us from doing what we really need to do right here and right now.
There's much more on meditation in our e-book, Tricycle Teachings: Meditation, which contains the above teaching, and which is available free to Supporting and Sustaining Members of the Tricycle Community.