Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Writing Down The Bones

Well, I just ventured to Charlotte from Chicago. I took the time to make a pit stop in my old sangha and it was literally packed. What was once a four person operation in a very small room is now filled with a dozen or so enthusiasts in the same small small room.

Walking meditation was a little awkward.

I ventured out tonight to the Bare Bones Meditation group. I have been practicing in a chair for almost a year due to a raging case of arthritis and decided to hit the floor tonight and had a hard time staying in the present moment. Back to the chair.

The Mindfulness meditation group meets in the basement of a Baptist church building and the Bare Bones group meets in the clubhouse of an apartment complex near downtown that is three times bigger. There is at least one other meditation group here that goes by the name Soto Zen. No chairs last time I went. It is in the attic of an old house.

Fortunately I have been in the present during the little moments like taking the time to blink after staring at a monitor all day or the fifteen minutes I set aside between my alarm clocks in the morning just to lay there and chill with no regard to planning my day or deciphering any unusual dreams.

I have come to the conclusion that if I have the lotus position in my head, the body can be wherever its is to be comfortable. The body needs just enough comfort to be in a place (my head) that would normally require therapeutic supervision.

Are you from a town not in the fabled West coast? What it the Buddhism scene like there for you?

Peace In Every Step
Sean Flanigan
Charlotte, NC

4 comments:

  1. "I have come to the conclusion that if I have the lotus position in my head, the body can be wherever its is to be comfortable. The body needs just enough comfort to be in a place (my head) that would normally require therapeutic supervision."

    Some traditions - Zen in particular - insist that a lotus posture is necessary or at least preferable. The explanation that made most sense to me is that it forces us to get used to tolerating a certain amount of pain. It's gives us an opportunity to learn to accept it.

    I think this works. On the other hand, via Mindfulness I've learned that it's unnecessary. Plenty of pain and aversion comes up by itself for us to work with whenever it does. Sitting on - gasp - chairs also makes practice more accessible and more naturally integrated with "ordinary life" rather than something "special". Also easier to practice while driving, at work etc. And avoid the risk of a macho "becoming more virtuous through endurance" attitude.

    It does help however to have an upright yet relaxed posture, as the mind is apt to take on a similar tone.

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  2. I love that book [same as your blog title.] are we to assume you too enjoy this book?

    and no, i am not from the fabled promise land a-la west coast.

    buddhism scene for me is me and my cat- the ultimate buddhist- sitting in our humble abode- breathing

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  3. Yes, Violet, I perused the book many moons ago.

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  4. the buddhist scene here in oklahoma is small, low key but steady, we have Tam Bao temple as well as the Open Mind Zen Center ran by Eli, a dedicated young practitioner for several years now...overall hard to describe..small but earnest

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