Thread: Meditation
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:15 AM   #20
Bill Danosky
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Dojo: BN Yoshinkan
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 433
Re: Meditation

The Catholic Church has long sent Fathers and monks to study at Buddhist monasteries, to learn their meditation practices. And I think you could say they are practitioners of a functional system. It's very fortunate for them, because many Buddhist meditation practices are too beneficial, too beautiful to miss.

There are even many versions of, say Walking meditation. Thich Nhat Hanh teaches little children in France to say, "Oui (yes)", when stepping with their left foot. "Merci (thank you)", when they step with their right. They may take 3 steps on the in breath, 2 on the out breath, or more or less. Whatever the natural rhythm is. It's important to teach them to say, "Yes!" to life, and, "Thank You!"

But the focus of walking meditation is reminding you to Be Here Now. The perpetual now. Like Zen, it focuses you intently on the ordinary. Everything you notice, you touch with your mindfulness. So often, "We breathe, but we don't know that we are breathing. We walk, but we don't know we are walking. We live, but we don't know that we are living. Our existence is dull and blurry, like a dream." (More Thich Nhat Hanh, who is sort-of the Dalai Lama of Theravada Buddhism).

It reminds me of this quote by Herman Melville, "As the appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the heart of man lies a single, insular Tahiti- Full of peace and joy, but surrounded by the horrors of the half-lived life." It's pretentious to Quote Melville, but it's such a strong statement. "... the horrors of the half-lived life." It can be a shallow, fearful existence if you fail to embrace it.
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