Minister's Post, Fri Oct 21

Join a Journey Group: http://cucwp.org/journey-groups

I.C.Y.M.I. (In Case You Missed It)

The Oct 16 Service, "Desert Theory":

The Oct 9 Service, "Getting Better" (Columbus/Indigenous Peoples' Day)

SPIRITUAL PRACTICE: Practice When You're Distracted

From Norman Fischer’s Training in Compassion, adapted from Tibetan teachings called “Lojong,” our 24th slogan to live by is:
Practice When You’re Distracted.
We're in training. Training the mind takes discipline. We have to try to pay attention, to stick to our commitments, to repeat the slogans many times, keeping on with them even when we don't feel like it. But discipline is not what we think it is. It's not an unpleasant yoke administered by a drill sergeant, an obsessed and mean-spirited guy who screams at us when we fall down on the job. Aggressive discipline like this is more likely to make us want to rebel.

Mind training discipline is gentle, permissive, easygoing. A certain amount of distraction and noneffort is inevitable. Instead of struggling against distraction or unmotivation, work with it. Make the distraction part of the practice.

Sometimes you’re daydreaming, enjoying a ball game, or a glass of wine. Don’t think that you’ve set your practice aside and are taking a break. You’re still practicing as long as you’re aware that this, too, is part of practice. As soon as you know your state of distraction, you are practicing. You are practicing when you’re meditating or reciting the slogans -- and you’re also practicing when you’re not.

Practice is life, including everything in your life, even the distractions. There's a time for hard focus and a time for soft focus, but there are no breaks. Or to put it another way, practice is just one long break from the tension and anxiety that we used to take for granted as the essential flavor of our lives.

Please see the full post: Practice When You're Distracted.

Here it is, your...
#132: How to Die

These Raven Tales are the creation of Zen Master Robert Aitken, who once observed that enlightenment is an accident -- we cannot make it happen -- but we can make ourselves accident-prone.

That's the sort of accident -- which may be fatal to the ego's self-conception -- of which Raven is in favor. Learning how to die is necessary for knowing how to live.

One evening toward the end of a meeting, Mole said, "I've heard that Zen is for old folks to teach them how to die. What do you think of that notion?"
Raven said, "It helps young folks that way, too."
Mole asked, "They might have a fatal accident?"
Raven said, "I'm all for accidents."
"There are no accidents,"
Says a cartoon character in Kung Fu Panda.
Also, Depak Chopra, who adds,
"There is only some purpose
We haven't yet understood."

I, who have yet to understand
Any purpose,
Bump into things I didn't intend
Or expect or want
To bump into.
Particular instances, I often dislike.
That the world is made for this to happen
Is delightful.
Case adapted from Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon

No comments:

Post a Comment