Personal Lessons from the Buddha

useful link Posted by on Jun 10, 2011 in Writing | 0 comments I realized several nights ago that I am not yet ready for enlightenment. I still have a lot of work to do.

why not check here My goal for the night was to sit like Siddhārtha Gautama until I knew what to do next. I started by showering, then putting on loose-fitting clothes. Then I moved to the cushion. After two hours of sitting with every intent of not moving until I had a clear direction of what to do, I had my first realization.

my review here I realized that Siddhārtha Gautama had seriously practiced and prepared all day every day for six years before he sat under the Bodhi tree. I have been practicing reasonably seriously for about 10 days. Before that it was off and on (with more off than on), with very mixed results. Sometimes I could not still my mind, other times I had amazing peace.

I note this lack of practice because after two hours, my left leg was numb. Additionally, the spasms in my back had gotten quite painful and were taking attention away from my breathing (and pretty much everything else).

So my first realization was that most humans (or at least I) should prepare before deciding to engage in an epic meditation.

Then something else hit me. Why was I trying to do this the same way that Siddhārtha Gautama did? I have not spent years as an ascetic. Ten days in a Buddhist monastery almost two years ago doesn’t even come close. Even when you add in two years with a shaman and three years studying Reiki over the past nine years, it’s not the same. I did all of those things while working and supporting my children. This was when I had my next breakthrough.

My second realization was that my spiritual practice had been a part-time job at best, and more often than not a hobby. I had relegated the most important component of who I am to the status of curio collecting. That was more humbling than realizing I was not going to last through the night sitting without moving.

At the same time, I remembered that I had much more experience in practices other than Buddhism. So why did I have to sit all night like Siddhārtha Gautama? Why did I need to sit with my back straight, my left leg tucked under to balance me (the right leg won’t bend that way), and my hands in a classic Dhyāna mudrā?

My third realization was that I had to make this practice my own. I realized that when I come to my awakening, it will be in my own way. Siddhārtha Gautama had not enjoyed the opportunities to study with a Huichol shaman or a French Reiki Master. Only I had.

So I moved to a more comfortable position, one I have often used for Reiki meditations.

Four hours later my calves brought me back around to everyday consciousness. How I stayed still for so long, I do not know. Perhaps some sleep entered the practice. In any case, I decided to walk the dog so that he didn’t have to suffer because of me. Every step of our short walk reminded me that I had not moved in four hours. When we returned home, I opted for the cushion again.

This time I took a chapter out of my shamanic training. But when I entered the canoe that I had used on many shamanic journeys, a thick fog enveloped the canoe. Even Coyote, my regular companion on these trips did not join me. I was going it alone this time. Into the fog I floated, with lights and voices masked by the mist so that I could not make out anything tangible.

When I opened my eyes, it was dawn.

I quietly walked to my bed and climbed in. Sleep embraced me immediately. Two hours later, I again walked the dog. I realized how much joy and love he brings to my life and I smiled. I made breakfast and returned to the cushion.

After 14 hours, I am not yet sure what direction my life will take. I do not yet have that beautiful deep knowing and conviction that I know will come. Granted, I did move several times, so maybe I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain with my higher self. Or maybe I just took the first step.

Either way, I now have a peace and knowing that my path lies in this direction. And I know it can’t be just a hobby.

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