In his book, In This Very Life: The Liberation Teachings of the Buddha, Sayadaw U Pandita provides this meditation guidance. He begins by noting that “the Buddha suggested that either a forest lace under a tree or any other very quiet place is best for meditation.” Additionally, the Buddhja said a meditator “should sit quietly and peacefully with legs crossed.” However, if sitting cross legged is too difficult, other postures may be used. For example, if there are issues with legs or the back, then sitting on a chair is appropriate. Pandita says that meditation should lead to peace of mind and that the foundation for that is “to choose a position that will be comfortable for a long period of time.”
Mindfulness, the capacity to be here, to witness deeply everything that happens in the present moment, is the beginning of enlightenment. - Thich Nhat Hanh
By virtue of being human, each of us has the capacity to choose, to change, to grow. - Eknath Easwaran
There is no error greater than hatred, and nothing mightier than patience. So I strive in every way to learn patience. - Buddha
In a historic first this week, a candle-lighting ceremony to observe and commemorate the Buddha’s birth, attainment of enlightenment, and death was conducted at the White House in celebration of the day of Vesak. Lamps were lit, prayers were offered in the presence of Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff. Also present were representatives from various Buddhist traditions.
The occasion was accompanied by a statement from President Joe Biden, who announced it in his official message published by the White House on Wednesday:
[First Lady] Jill [Biden] and I extend our warmest wishes to Buddhists in the United States and around the world as they celebrate Vesak, a day honoring the birth, enlightenment, and passing of the Buddha. The ceremonial lighting of a lamp, the symbol of this holiday that has been celebrated for over 2,500 years, reminds us of Buddhism’s teachings of compassion, humility, and selflessness that endure today. On this day, we also commemorate the many contributions of Buddhists in America who enrich our communities and our country as we all work together toward brighter days ahead.
It is not daily increase, but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.
There are things that seem to be common to patriarchal traditions. One, they’re body denying, and two, a priesthood interprets rather than there being a direct experience. - Gloria Steineim
Swami Balyogi (born 1933) was attacked by robbers who struck a near fatal blow to his head leaving him with a large piece of bone missing from the top of his skull. The robbers left him for dead but he survived by going into a deep meditation until some people came to help him. He often has episodes of intense pain and says his brain function has been somewhat hindered so he no longer teaches groups of people.
Though he's often in pain, Swami Balyogi refuses to take pain relieving drugs saying he doesn't want any medicine which clouds his mind. His healing methods are sunlight and meditation.
Patience can't be acquired overnight. It is just like building up a muscle. Every day you need to work on it. - Eknath Easwaran
To evolve morally and spiritually, Buddhism offers the eightfold noble path.
Number six is “right effort”, the cultivating of positive qualities and releasing negative ones. Buddhism fine tunes right effort into sub categories called “four big efforts”.
1. The effort to avoid negative not yet existing in our lives.
2. The effort to overcome negative which already exits in our thoughts and acts.
3. The effort to preserve the positive already developed in our thinking and acting.
4. The effort to develop the positive not yet existing in our minds, hearts and actions.
Driving the four big efforts teaching is the understanding that too many people have right intentions but neglect to put good ideas into practice, into daily life. This weakness is further strengthened by putting off for another day what we know should be done today. That’s why it’s important to cultivate the four great efforts daily – to avoid, overcome, preserve, and develop.
Victor M. Parachin ...is a
Vedic educator, yoga instructor, Buddhist meditation teacher and author of a dozen books. Buy his books at amazon or your local bookstore.