Archive for January, 2007

The Lazy Person’s Way to Deep Meditation

A deeper meditation practice is something practitioners strive for. I have found a simple tool that can be used in daily life, and takes up no time. The tool, is in breakfast. What about it?

Eating your breakfast mindfully. Turn off the TV; you’re not really watching it. Put down the morning new paper; you’re not really reading it. Now you’ve done that taste your breakfast. Instead of simply being distracted by the world’s negativity whilst eating, focus your mind during breakfast.

To do this, focus your mind on the taste in your mouth. Feel the textures, feel the weight, feel the stickiness, feel the sweetness, feel richness, feel it all. Feel how they break up and play around, and how the sense taste moves around the tongue in rapid succession. Just relax and pay attention to your breakfast.

Enjoy eating breakfast, it is not a chore, it’s exciting; there’s a lot going on, but it’s all so peaceful and deep. By doing this every bite, you are eating mindfully, you are meditating in your breakfast, it’s simple.

What happens from here is you’ll find your daily concentration will pick up and you’ll habitually meditating in other meals. Your practice will grow in leaps and bounds. Sittings on the mat/zafu will become more heightened and your whole day/attitude will improve. All from eating breakfast.

Understanding Your Intelligence

John has a great post about Learn(ing) to understand your own intelligence. I believe the majority of people go through their whole lives not understanding the role of metacognition. Meditation for me, is the key to sharpening my metacognitive abilities.

There are two types of cognition. The first is normal cognition. This is the ability to retrieve knowledge from memory. When you are asked a question on a test and produce an answer, that’s a display of cognitive ability. The second type of cognition is metacognition; the ability to know whether or not you know.

(side point, MSWORD does not recognise metacognition as a word, wow)

Why you should Self-Invest

It’s one thing to understand the below saying, but like anything you do not really know it until you understand and experience it for yourself. This is one thing each person should really investigate and find out for themselves. This quote will enable you to develop yourself in all areas.

Invest in yourself and others will invest in you.
If you do not invest in yourself, why should others invest in you.

This does not mean be wasteful or mindless, it means exactly the opposite. Develop an eye for quality, and souround yourself with quality. It will cause less stress, will look better, and generally it will last longer. Cost should not be a factor for a quality purchase. Skimping does not work with quality.

Don’t forget, what you’re investing in is yourself. This is an investment, it can be seen as an asset (quality holds value / time).

May yourself investment be in art, clothing, furniture, it does not matter. Self-Investment is an enabler to allow you to present yourself, to be more at peace, to be more who you are. This is where it gets tricky. Ego likes to play this game making things seem important that are really not. The yardstick I’ve developed against this is that if I want to show it off to others, it’s not an investment, it’s ego.

Once again, if you want people to invest in you, you must be willing to invest in yourself first. Treat yourself how you want other people to treat you and they will begin treating you this way.

“Dream. See. Create. Succeed.” (I’m not sure if I made this up or not)

Modification of old saying

“it’s not the destination it’s the journey” is a well known saying, it’s been blogged by many (example).

Last night whilst having an aimless night, it occurred to me that this saying is incomplete.

To me, this saying should not be impersonal, it should not be formal, it should not be sterile. Yet the thought of a journey always evokes the thought of a vehicle, usually a mechanical device comes to mind (car/boat/plane).

My correction to this saying is to add the reflection of the game of life, a bit of humor, something everyone can relate to. Rides are associated(generally), with happy/fun times, it’s immediately a link back to deep happiness. It’s a very simple tweak, but I believe it’s a total redressing to the saying.

The ride is not the destination, it’s the journey

UPDATE: I’ve found a Taoist version of this saying worth posting.
The Journey is the reward

(Simply Beautiful) - The Why Bother? Generation

This is simply an amazing quote for the current terms I believe society is starting to move to. This is the way I am trying to live my life. This is the life of the Dharma, The natural law, The Plato’s Republic, and other famous philosophers (Aristotle and Socrates for eg) version of Justice.

A desperate man lives behind closed doors and shut windows. He hears nothing, he sees nothing; and the only thing that does is fuel his desperation. This is not my generation. We are open; we consider a wider picture. Some may think that makes us foolish or weak, but I can not agree. It takes more courage to accept another person on their terms—to consider the validity or their ideas, and it takes pure intelligence to admit when you just don’t know.

On the benefits of solitude(meditation)

Below is a very beautiful, simple quote/illustration of why people should take some time out and spend some time alone. (Photo via PresentationZen.)

Quiet Time

For me, my solitude is my meditation. This is where I sit down and observe the ever changing nature of the body/mind phenomena. The teach from the meditation retreat (S.N. Goenka), addressed the UN in 2000 about how meditation is “the tool, for all religions to end global suffering and enable world peace”. (Zencast)

This is once again, another example, of how the east and the west have the same meaning/root message, just different terms.

The Idea of Merit

Quote taken from Insights on the Lotus Sutra

The word “merit”(Sanskrit:punya), when rendered in Chinese is made up of two characters. The first character means “daily practice or daily work,” and the second means “virtuous conduct.” Merit is a kind of spiritual energy that can be accumulated when we maintain a steady practice. This energy protects us and brings us joy and insight. Our practice helps us see, hear and understand things clearly and we can be present in a very deep way. When we can maintain our mindfulness and deep presence, we are able to touch the ultimate dimension. And when we get in touch with the ultimate, we know we are already in nirvana. This is the merit of practice.

Alan Watts Video on Time/Karma/Change/Cause&Effect

The below video by Alan Watts (found via Zencast), looks into the concept of time. Alan Watts has a remarkable method of explaining the universe as it is. His real world examples, such as a “tail-waged dog” (not dog waging-tail[the reality]) are used to explain time and Karma.

This is a great follow up video from yesterday’s post on Karma.

Video Linked Haiku

Alan Watts had a great way of explaining Eastern  Philosophy to Westerners.  If you want to translate the wisdom of the sages, you may consider using the mediums of Japanese animation or lego movies.  People will listen to stories if they’re told with a great soundtrack and special effects.  Get your hands on a camera, some video editing software and start translating this stuff already!