Keep Sitting

Manjusri, Keep SittingSitting is hard. Sometimes you feel good, but often you feel a little stiff or sore. You don’t notice how it affects your life. You get busy. Stuff comes up. Somehow daily sitting becomes less of a priority. Somewhere along the line you pick up the saying that “a few moments of mindfulness each day is good enough”. “Good Enough” is different to “Good”. We need to Keep Sitting.

The mantra of “Keep Sitting” has been ringing in my head for months. I started making short cuts and excuses. I observed myself making these short cuts and excuses. Now I’m re-learning a lot of lessons. It feels like beginner’s mind all over again. I’m re-finding the importance of a solid daily practice.

I thought that because I observed it all, it was fine. That it’s okay, I’m living the Dharma, more so than sitting it. The mind, however, is a bit like a leaky boat. If we don’t empty the water out, eventually it’ll sink.

Meditation is how we remove water from our boat. Part of living, is there is always going to be holes. What we can, and do with meditation is help ourselves. As we keep sitting water empties from boat, and as a result the boat, our mind, starts handles better. Less baggage means our boat is less effected by the waves. It sails more so than it sink. If we stop sitting, however, the water starts seeping in again, and the boat starts sinking again.

Through sitting, we engage and enhance life. Nothing is isolated in this world. Everything is related and connected. Our practice is constantly manifested in the world. How we act, how we react. We are our practice. Keep Sitting. I’m off to sit now.

At times, we all struggle with practice. In this world, nothing is permanent. Everything is constantly changing, including our ability to sit…Smile upon your imperfect nature.

Below is a great video from Suzuki Roshi, looking at interconnectedness. This relates to living our practice. Perhaps watch, then join me sitting.

(photo is of one my statues)

13 Responses to “Keep Sitting”

  1. 1 Marnix

    Thank you for the encourigment.It is just in time when I need it. It is as you say,looking for excuses not to sit and then, when you sit it seems like everything you’ve learend is gone. And thanks for saying not to be angry with myself for it. It is time now to sit beceause my boat is sinking very fast and if I want to survive the storm, its time to get the water out. it is also time to practice beceause in a month i’ll be off for another 10 days of Vipassana.
    Be happy

  2. 2 blinkwax

    Very true. Its almost like ‘we need to sit so that we don’t need to sit’. And just turning up is the hard part.

  3. 3 Doug Avery

    This post seemed to come at just the right time for me. It’s so difficult to see the improvements sitting makes in life, but I find that once I let it slip for one day, two days, a week, there’s such an obvious “sinking” in the mind, and it’s so much harder to get back on the cushion.

  4. 4 irldexter

    D smiles. Timely, yes very… one doesn’t notice the clutter or inattention until one tidies up and begins to enquire once again :)

  5. 5 Wade

    Thank you all for your comments. It’s nice to know this post found you all at the right time. Often it feels, to me, that we’re doing this alone.

    It’s great to hear from you all, to know we are not facing this alone.

    May all beings be happy. May all beings be blessed by the Dharma.



  6. 6 Gregor

    Hello Wade,

    I hope things are well with you. Good post, and timely that I found it now — thanks for the needed encouragement.

    take care,


  7. 7 Barry

    Hsiang Lin (case 17 in Blue Cliff Record) commented that, “Sitting for a long time becomes toilsome.”

    Each of us knows that experience well. But what do we do with it? Hsiang Lin used his experience to help a confused monk - and thousands of students since.

    Perhaps if we can attain the same life direction as Hsiang Lin, then our sitting can be toilsome, but no problem!

    Thank for the post!

  8. 8 Wade

    @Greg, Long time no speak :) I’m still feeding your blog. I’m getting back into the swing, as you can tell. We’ll be chatting more soon ;). I see you’re undertaking Jukai. Wow! Congratulations. Thanks for your comments, as always.

    @Barry, Lovely e-mail address. Thanks for pointing out Case 17. I’ve not found many people discussing Blue Cliff Record online. Very skillfully done here too.

    May all beings be peaceful.



  9. 9 lostmort

    Great post and and as a new vistor I must say you have a Great Site !

    I’ve only recently started taking the seat seriously (since ~ xmas)and I’m finding that nothing beats shutting up and getting my arse firmly planted on the cushion.

    btw thanks for the link to zencast the other day !
    I look forward to spending more time here.

  10. 10 gregor

    Hey Wade — Good to see you in the swing of it!! Yes, doing the Jukai with Treeleaf, very good experience so far, it’s helping me get back into the swing myself.

    take care,


  11. 11 Marnix

    Hi wade I’m off for ten days on thuesday. will be (not) will be thinking of you. Hope I’ll keep up when I come back.
    Lots of love.

  12. 12 Liara Covert

    Sitting reminds human beings of the power of simplicity. It gives opportuntity to learn the practical side of just being. When a person gets restless easily or figits, he has not yet learned to discipline the mind and everything connected to it.

  13. 13 Mikael

    A excerpt from Dogen, I thought you might like.

    “As I personally saw in Great Song, the Zen monasteries in various places all had meditation halls, where five to six hundred or even up to two thousand monks, practicd zazen day and night. When I asked the abgbots of these monasteries, masters who had inherited the seal of buddha mind, about the essential meaning of buddha-dharma, I was told that practice and realization are not two different things.”

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