It beats the alternative, don’t get me wrong.
I enjoy taking part in meditation challenges, retreats and the like, and love learning about Tibetan Buddhist traditions. It seems the more I learn, the more comfortable I am but the more contradictions appear. For example, the goal is to tackle ego, but most of me good feelings about being on the path are, arguably, self-centred and ego-driven.
I am currently reading Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism and I have to remind myself that any pride I feel about being on the spiritual path is a sign that my ego mind is alive and well!
I listen to Dharma talks by Susan Piver as a member of the Open Heart Project (OHP) Sangha. She is trained in my lineage, the Shambhala Lineage, and is an amazing meditation instructor. The OHP is a great way to discover more about the teachings that
I receive on the Way of Shambhala, and gives me daily meditation practice.
I am also a follower of Kyoun Sokuzan, a Zen Buddhist monk and head teacher at the Sokukogi Buddhist Monastery. I love his practice teachings and his basic practice instruction: sit down, assume a symmetrical posture, face the wall and see what moves. Meditation is simple yet difficult.
Sokuzan instructs us on the 3 poisons, or three unwholesome roots in Buddhism: attachment, aversion and ignorance. The big 3. He instructs us to not push, pull or ignore anything. We are reminded to just receive, to meet people where they are and not to add anything. Judgments, opinions, etc are just the ego mind at work.
I meditate daily and watch Sokuzan and Susan Piver several times per week. I can’t remember ever being so happy and settled in my own skin. As the Canadian Police warning goes, you realize that you have “nothing to fear from any threats and nothing to hope from any promises”. Another think that my teachings remind me of is a saying that my wife’s Grandma used to use, “that is what is”.
I signed up for another Weekthun this June. As I said in a blog entry last year, it is a lot of things but it is not a “week off”. Meditating 8 hours per day (the first three days in silence) is both transformative and tougher than it seems! I said last year that I didn’t know how soon I would do another Weekthun, but I signed up for the next one that came along. I am really looking forward to it!