Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 05/06/2020

Buddho and the Lying Mile

This morning it occurred to me that my formal meditation sessions that I do every morning may never result in jhana in this lifetime (at least not unless I’m on extended retreat which I don’t see the conditions for) and that’s okay. No, it’s not okay because jhana isn’t important because it clearly is; the Lord Buddha says as much time and again. And, it’s not okay because of some wishy-washy idea of self-love and forgiveness because what kind of love is it that allows you to sell yourself short? No, it’s okay because I’m not there yet. It’s okay because I have other things I need to work with first.

I’ve been at this long enough to know that technique is one thing and bhavana is something else. Whatever technique I’ve tried, my interest has always faded when it didn’t produce good feelings and “results.” Again, there are results to be had but not by allowing my monkey mind to take the reins and hop from one technique to the next. Rather, I need to make the commitment that I will sit with buddho through drowsiness, pain, pleasure and rapture until I can calm the mind with it. In other words, until I am able to master the mind with the goad of buddho I won’t be switching.  I need to see that I can endure the pain. Endure the sleepiness. Endure the pleasure. That there is an end to all of these things. Yes, buddho will be there but it isn’t the point. The point is to really prove to myself that all these phenomena are impermanent and unworthy of being made much of.

Just like the myriad thoughts telling you to quit when you’re pushing yourself through the first mile of a run, you eventually come to realize that these thoughts aren’t really an accurate representation of reality. They are just patterns that you’ve activated time and again. Keep running and you’ll see through them. Keep with buddho and I know I will see through the hindrances.

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