Saturday, December 25, 2010

Meditation too hard? Try Parkour! (video)

P. Macpherson and C.C. Liu (Wisdom Quarterly)
(LINK)'s 100% amazing Parkour jumps, a compilation video

If anyone else finds meditation too hard, raise your hand. It's "boring," some say. It's supposed to be, others foolishly add.

Yoga is great preparation for sitting. It was created by ancient India seers who wanted to be able to sit long enough to enter dhyana (absorption), levels of concentration they generally called samadhi.*

But yoga itself is not moving meditation. It could be if the mind were withdrawn from sense stimuli and could stay on the subtle breath (or meditation object). Tai Chi comes closer to doing that. Yogis and martial artists become perfectly still when touching bliss. But long before full lotus, they do special exercises.
Parkour is an activity with the aim of moving from one point to another as efficiently and quickly as possible, using principally the abilities of the human body.

Samadhi was considered enlightenment and liberation (moksha) from the suffering of continued rebirth, which was nirvana to them. The Buddha clarified Vedic misinterpretations. He explained meditation (for serenity, mindfulness, liberating insight, or the development of powers and abilities) as consisting of many kinds of exercises.

Meditation is the easiest thing in the world and, paradoxically, the hardest. People often delude themselves, fantasizing that they are meditating successfully. It's so simple: Be present and accepting of whatever is, just for this moment, without discursive thinking, analyzing, or holding expectations.

"Be here now" became the American mantra for how to be "Zen" (the Japanese word for dhyana) in the 1960's. When Zen is so easy that it's too hard, the reason someone would take up Parkour (PK) or Tantra (sacred sex) or even entheogens (DMT) will make sense.

*Samādhi is the unification of an appeased (serene) mind; right-concentration is defined by the Buddha as the first four jhanas. Yogi Baba Hari Dass breaks it down: sam (together) + ā (completely) + dhā (to hold) = "to hold [the mind] together completely" or full absorption in one object.

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