Sunday, January 23, 2011

Just Do It!

Between sitting meditation, walking meditation, mindful yoga, body scan, loving kindness meditation, mindful checkin, sound meditation, open awareness meditation, concentration practice, it can be hard to decide. What to do? and when? and how? Meditation is a little bit like being at a restaurant and having to pick from a long menu. 

This is why I find Ajahn Chah's instructions so freeing:
Just keep breathing in and out like this.  Don’t be interested in anything else. It doesn’t matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don’t pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. Don’t take up anything else. There’s no need to think about gaining things. Don’t take up anything at all. Simply know the in- breath and the out-breath. The in-breath and the out-breath. Bud on the in-breath; dho on the out-breath. Just stay with the breath in this way until you are aware of the in-breath and aware of the out-breath....aware of the inbreath.... aware of the out-breath. Be aware in this way until the mind is peaceful, without irritation, without agitation, merely the breath going out and coming in. Let your mind remain in this state. You don’t need a goal yet. It’s this state that is the first stage of practice. If the mind is at ease, if it’s at peace then it will be naturally aware. As you keep doing it, the breath diminishes, becomes softer. The body becomes pliable, the mind becomes pliable. It’s a natural process. Sitting is comfortable: you’re not dull, you don’t nod, you’re not sleepy. The mind has a natural fluency about whatever it does. It is still. It is at peace. And then when you leave the samadhi, you say to yourself, Wow, what was that?’ You recall the peace that you’ve just experienced. And you never forget it.
No need to complicate things. Just pay attention to the breath. In and out. In and out . . .  

16 comments:

  1. Thank you for this, it's what helps me best, just to focus on my breath no matter what. I beat up on myself for not taking the time to have a better consistent practice. Then I realize that all I need to do is pause for 10, 20, 30 minutes whatever I have at that moment and just focus on my breath. I am so grateful for your reminders here and on twitter. Namaste.

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  2. Yes, the mind's got this innate tendency to complicate things . . . even here :)

    May you enjoy the gift of natural mindfulness!

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  3. Keep it simple! Great reminder.

    "What was that?!" My entire being wonders that, thankfully each time.

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  4. Hello Maria, and thank you for our dharmic connection :)

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  5. "Your worst enemy cannot harm you
    As much as your own thoughts, unguarded.
    But once mastered,
    No one can help you as much"
    - Dhammapada

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  6. Great reminder Marguerite. I do some yoga and I sit every day, but yeah, I can see how easily our minds can become wrapped up or attached to thinking we need to do certain practices.

    This is a helpful reminder that simply focusing on the breath and being present is plenty good! Although, sometimes easier said than done :)

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  7. I benefited from this, nice 'doing'

    and now, when I come back to 'it' - nice reminder


    Strong words. As if, crystalized from experience. Distilled.

    Thanks for your appreciation, as always

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  8. Thanks for the great quote, Bonsai! And yes, I find out everyday, about the dangers of unguarded mind. Many levels at work, there, from the gross to the very subtle . . .

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  9. Nate, can you imagine if all we did was breathing meditation, forgetting everything else? The Buddha said it first. Breath meditation is all that is needed to become fully awakened.

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  10. Thank you Pooja. I am struck by how often we need to be reminded about 'keeping it simple'. In the simplicity, lies right effort.

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  11. yes at times i get dragged back into outside circumstance. This right here is a reminder i love it. Reminds me of a quote from Bruce Lee. : -Pass quickly like the non-existent and be quiet as Purity. Those who gain lose. Do not precede others, always follow them. ~ Bruce Lee

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  12. Oh! yes, the pull from the outside . . . and why some people choose the monastery!

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  13. As I struggle to meditate more often on my own, this is exactly what I needed to read! I've found this peace each week when I attend a class of guided meditation, but I've found it hard to figure out how to bring that home, to do it regularly. This reminds me not to overthink it. Thank you for sharing!

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  14. So glad, this is of help to you, Christine! And may you practice well :)

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  15. This was a really great reminder! Our breath is really all we need. Simplicity is a great factor in living a peaceful life.

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  16. Complication is another delusion from the mind and a form of resistance to practice.

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