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Spontaneity through meditation

Meditation with Arms, a sculpture by Auguste R...

Meditation with Arms, a sculpture by Auguste Rodin. Located at the B. Gerald Cantor Rodin Sculpture Garden at Stanford University. Right side shown. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Meditation somehow magically makes spontaneity more likely. This happens with perception, and with action. This means that when I practice enough, which is a lot for me, my senses clear up, like my nose clears up when I’m not suffering from allergies, and suddenly my breathing is better and I feel good. Also, what I say, the way I walk, how I open a door even, become less robotic, less clunky and the same as usual. This spontaneity is connected to the idea of dance. This kind of dance is spontaneous, at least a little bit.



Meditation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Four thoughts, new

1. In this life, you have the chance to help yourself and others.

2. Because of death, there’s poignancy and hard work.

3. Helping others, and yourself, involves knowing what to accept, and what to reject.

4. This all happens in the six realms, which are like a stage.

Helping self and others

Death leads to poignancy and hard work

Helping means knowing what to accept and what to reject

The six realms are like a stage

we perform on

(I could not resist this quote, in reference to accepting and rejecting, from “Sadhana of Mahamudra”)

“He is inseparable from peacefulness, and yet he acts whenever action is required. He subdues what needs to be subdued, he destroys what needs to be destroyed, and he cares for whatever needs his care.” Trungpa Rinpoche

(picture at top is of “Nimbus” by Berndnaut Smilde)

Four reminders

I’ve been doing a practice called “the four thoughts that turn the mind to the dharma,” or the “four reminders.” I’m going to offer up a thought I had first, before I mention my interpretations. My thought was this: it can be pretty easy to think up ideas about life, the dharma, religion, what have you, but it’s remarkably hard to realize those, in the moment. There’s a stubbornness to life, and to people’s minds (and maybe hearts). For the past few weeks I’ve been contemplating these four thoughts, and it took me a while to notice that I could think about them pretty well, have some good ideas about what this meant, but then somehow these ideas weren’t happening in real life.

Of course, it takes time. Ideas take time to sink in, and then you have to keep remembering to apply them. My teacher has mentioned “concentration” very specifically to me a few times now, and I’m seeing that I need a lot more of that. I’m generally extremely unfocused. Anyway, here are the four thoughts, in overview, and then my thoughts about the thoughts.

1. Precious human birth

2. Impermanence (change and death)

3. Karma

4. Suffering

I think that’s a pretty good summary. So here is some thoughts I’ve had on this.

1. It’s hard to find a good situation, one in which you can practice the dharma (or, at least, have a satisfying life).

2. You never know how long you’ll live, so this is a good motivation to get stuff done.

3. Learn about cause and effect.

(Karma often takes on mystical or mythical overtones for Americans, I think. It can just mean cause and effect.)

4. Work on overcoming clinging, to get to a balanced state of mind.

That’s all for that one. Time for some coffee and food.


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