OK, so I sat down and did my meditation, but now I have to deal with regular life. Life off of the cushion, and outside of meditation.
This was actually a question that was brought up by a Sangha member during the dhamma discussion at Blue Lotus Temple yesterday.
As I listened, I realized this is probably a tremendous challenge for many people. We may all find it easy to be peaceful and loving in our meditative state, but the real World is extremely different. And we are always interacting with other people, their needs, actions and emotions.
Not so well, happy and peaceful right?
While this is still something that I need to be mindful of, I have learned a few things from Bhante Sujatha that help me maintain inner peace and balance.
First of all, daily meditation is really important to form a foundation of our practice. Once a week in a group setting is very nice, but you need to take that practice home and develop it. Whether it be in the morning before you start your day, or in the evening when things have quieted down. Take fifteen, twenty minutes to be with yourself in silence and just observe your mind. Practice loving kindness to yourself, your Family and friends. Send that love out to the entire World.
As you develop your loving kindness (Metta) meditation, you may decide to go longer and introduce some Vipassanā (Insight) meditation to your practice. If you need assistance or have questions with any of these, I would encourage you to reach out to a Buddhist Monk or Nun. They are all very loving and would be more than happy to help you.
Another thing that Bhante taught me, I felt was very powerful. He said that I can meditate no matter where I am or what I am doing!
And it really is true. I am meditating right now as I write this. I am aware of my breath and body, I am mindful of my words and actions as I type, and still my mind is open to any other event that may present itself. I am meditating.
Now this is not to say that this is a replacement to sitting meditation, but it is a great way to keep yourself well, happy and peaceful all day long. Awake, mindful, present, breathing and full of acceptance.
I feel compelled at this point to remind all of you that I am no bodhisattva. I am merely a lowly student, and have been extremely blessed to have such loving, wise and compassionate teachers.
One of the early teachings that Bhante shared with me when we first met, was the meaning of Bhavana.
He said, “Most people think that this simply means meditation. But it is much more than that. Bhavana is Wisdom, Meditation, and Virtue”.
And this is where I put my effort, into developing all three of these. Meditation without developing wisdom and virtue is like riding a tricycle with only one wheel.
So I hope that this may have been helpful for some of you, and if I can ever offer my help in any way, it would be my humble honor.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.