February 03, 2012

Meditation Month: Day 3

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Broadway BuddhaSo, 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.

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ewt7ewt7's picture

i signed in to the site; then go to my previous comment and reply to that.

JuBu52's picture

How do you catch up and start with Day 1. I can't find the links?

ewt7ewt7's picture


I didn't exActly fall off the cushion today -- but i did stay in my warm bed, and meditated there.

I used the 5 Mindfulness Trainings of Thich Nhat Hanh to guide me -- Compassion, Lovingkindness, Responsibility, Loving Speech and Deep Listening (always a difficult practice for me to "live into being"), and Mindful Consumption.
One new thing i incorporated this morning -- the minute i awoke i thanked the Goddess for my Beloved.

They say that practicing anything for 30 days creates a habit. Bless us all in this journey together!

ewt7ewt7's picture

DAY 4 & 5

Day 4 i fell off the cushion.

Day 5 is today, and i meditated, beginning on my way to the Arlington Street Unitarian-Universalist Parish in downtown Boston.

It took me 20 minutes to find a parking space; thus began the meditation, as I finally told myself I would make one more sweep of Charles St. and manifest a parking space...

I then walked through the Public Garden, observing the large statue of George Washington on his horse; the day was brisk, and it felt very good to walk through that space after a long time.
I then joined the service, as Rev. Kim was just ending her sermon. She's an extraordinary lady. Another person, a man, joined her on the podium and spoke of a friend who was a recovering "Repentent Lutheran." He said she was trying to come to terms with her sexuality and was very repressed and painfully shy; but someone suggested she answer the negative voices in her head with: "Don't tell God what to do!" This seemed to guide her on a path to wellness. But one other comment this man said from the pulpit, while it made the audience laugh, struck me as uncharitable -- that the faith of his friend was the same that informed Michelle Bachman.

We are all children of the Universe, and Ms. Bachman, whether one agrees or disagrees with her politics, deserves, in my opinion, equal consideration on this plane.
We all have wounded parts that need healing. I learn and ponder this each and every day.
When we sang a final hymn, being trained in singing, i let my voice and spirit express my joy, anguish, and letting go.

My return trip through the Garden led me to stop as a procession of mallard ducks and geese ("Canada" or "America?") processed from the grass to the concrete ledge that borders the water; then half winging/half jumping into the water, my path was cleared. It was a wonderful parade to observe, and gave me pleasure, joy and hope.
Blessed be.

ewt7ewt7's picture


i was back on the cushion this morning, first thing. There's something about Monday morning (also knowing that i'd get a call from the dentist around 8...).

i do actually look forward to the charge/challenge/invitation to set an intention for my day; then observe how close i can come to manifesting a new way of thinking/being/loving.

deepurple's picture

The importance of breath that calms and focuses you. I enjoyed this session and will try to remember to always come back to the breath throughout the day.