Meditation, Three Years Later


I’ve been meditating daily for three years now. I remember when I traded in bunch of towels for a real zafu, thinking that (like many purchases) I’ll use this religiously (no pun) but, let’s face it, will probably abandon it as the novelty of actually, really meditating wears off.

Well, the novelty may have worn off but I still meditate; in fact, if I oversleep (I normally get up before 5am) and can’t make time before going to work I feel like my day is starting off out of whack. Perhaps that goes against the non-attachment premise that underlies the cause of suffering — attachment to composite phenomena that are, by nature, impermanent — but I really look forward to whatever time I can get sitting zazen. The experience can be a combination of relaxation and distraction as I make an effort to simultaneously let my mind drift while observing my monkey mind.

I know that there’s more to Buddhism than meditating in the wee hours; it’s a devotion to following a path that will lead to liberation from attachment to form and the suffering that brings. Right now, though, my life of attachment is about responsibilities and toil, trying to make ends meet in a harsh environment while raising children. The challenge is to find a balance between juggling the daily task of solving problems at work and at home with the understanding that all these things that can be a source of abysmal frustration are, in fact, transitory, blowing through my life like dead leaves on a windy Autumn day.

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