February 03, 2012
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So, day 3. It's said of the Sentinelese islanders that they only count to two, and anything above that is called "many." While I think this is a very wise policy generally, it's unfortunately often true of our resolutions, too—we hold fast for a day or two, and then, well.... Don't let Day 3 be the day you fell off the cushion. Keep sitting! This morning I had a terrible sit. I was resentful and restless, and couldn't count above two, like the Sentinelese. But as Brad Warner writes in the new issue of Tricycle, it's like brushing your teeth: You just do it. Brad Warner, by the way, is helping us out by answering our meditation questions here: Ask the Meditation Doctor. If you have a question, asking a real, live meditation instructor is a good way to start.
Thai forest monk and prolific writer and translator Thanissaro Bhikkhu, abbot of Metta Forest Monastery in southern California, visited the Tricycle office in the spring of 2011 and led us in a guided meditation that we filmed. Watch it below, or rather, listen, as he recommends closing your eyes. (Not all meditation teachers do; you can ask Brad about this.)
We've also released an e-book, Tricycle Teachings: Meditation, that is free to Supporting and Sustaining Members of the Tricycle Community. (Supporting members get acccess to all website content for $25 and Sustaining Members get that plus the print magazine for $30.) Join here and download the free e-book today.
Today's Daily Dharma (sign up in the Daily Dharma box on our home page) is S. N. Goenka's "Finding Sense in Sensation," taken from the e-book, which contains dozens of meditation teachings hand-picked by Tricycle's editors, but you can read it on our site here. Here's the Daily Dharma, which I appreciated reading this morning:
Whether pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral, gross or subtle, every sensation shares the same characteristic: it arises and passes away, arises and passes away. It is this arising and passing that we have to experience through practice, not just accept as truth because Buddha said so, not just accept because intellectually it seems logical enough to us. We must experience sensation’s nature, understand its flux, and learn not to react to it.
Good luck with your sitting through the weekend!
Image: Broadway Buddha, in the window of ABC Carpet. He inspires (or reproaches, depending on your mind-state) passing meditators with his perfect posture.