First, understand, this is not about worshipping the Buddha. We respect, admire, are even in awe of what the Buddha accomplished and the great gift of his teachings. But it doesn’t do him or anyone else any good to just sit and praise him. Remember, … Continue reading Meditation on the Buddha
What does it mean?
The oppressive sense of shock, dismay, and alienation that comes with realizing the futility and meaninglessness of life as it’s normally lived; a chastening sense of one’s own complacency and foolishness in having let oneself live so blindly; and an anxious sense of urgency in trying to find a way out of the meaningless cycle.”
-from Access to Insight
Why does it matter?
This is one of those terms that initially seems really depressing but is actually quite inspiring. I think everyone has had the experience, in large or small ways, of looking around and thinking, “What the hell am I doing with my life? Does any of this matter? Am I just wasting my life working at this lousy job and watching tv?”
Sadly, when most people have this realization, there is not much to be done. The answer for most people in this country is: “Have a positive attitude!” All that really translates to is, “Suck it up and suffer for the next few decades.”
Buddhism offers an alternative! In a way, that initial realization is exactly what’s needed to go down the spiritual path. If working 9 to 5 and then kicking back and watching TV with a beer is enough, why strive for more?
Ajahn Thanissaro has a really beautiful article on this term.
This meditation is useful for fighting drowsiness. Here’s how the Buddha describes it: “But if by doing this you don’t shake off your drowsiness, then attend to the perception of light, resolve on the perception of daytime, [dwelling] by night as by day, and by … Continue reading Meditation on the Perception of Light
Yesterday I talked about the sutta in the Anguttara Nikaya on sleepiness, usually translated as “Nodding”. It’s a beautiful little story about the Buddha giving advice on how to deal with sleepiness in meditation. Is this something that affects some of you? It used to … Continue reading Comments on Tips to Avoid Drowsiness
One day while meditating near Kallavalamutta, Moggallana began to nod off. The Buddha noticed and ask him, “Are you nodding off, Moggallana?” “Yes,” he replied. The Buddha then offered these 7 tips to overcome drowsiness: Try just ignoring it. Maybe it will go away on … Continue reading Tips to Overcome Drowsiness