Thursday, August 30, 2012

"It will pass" (meditation)

James Khan (detoxifynow.com); Meditation Committee, Wisdom Quarterly
A student went to a meditation teacher and complained:
  
"My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted! My legs ache! I'm constantly falling asleep! It's just horrible!"
 
"It will pass," the teacher replied matter of factly.
 
A week later, the student came back to the teacher to report:
  
"My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware! I feel so peaceful! I feel so alive! It's just wonderful!'
 
"It will pass," the teacher replied matter of factly.

Commentary
"Oh, of course! Why did I let myself get clingy?"
Goenka once lamented (as anyone who sits the free 10-day course will hear him tell) that many students grasp at their meditative successes and want to know how to re-experience them, how to bring them back, how to have just good sits without the "wasted" time sessions. The lament is that it is just this sort of grasping we sit to let go of. While letting go, much more comes. But we cannot easily let go to get more to come. That is a subtle form of grasping and clinging. Long after the Buddha but long before Goenka, the Western poet Alexander Pope immortalized this message, perhaps never realizing how much it describes attempts at meditating, in this stanza:

"Oh thoughtless mortals! ever blind to fate,
Too soon dejected, and too soon elate!"

1 comment:

Sandy Shaw said...

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