Sunday, March 6, 2016

How to Sit

Listen deeply to the following Thay's teaching on how to sit.
Key messages are as follows:

* Sitting here is like sitting under the Bodhi Tree in order to become the Buddha

* On the appearance, you see a novice is sitting, but inside the novice there is something going on. Mindfulness of sitting.

* When you sit upright, your spinal column is very upright but not rigid. Very relaxed.

* You allow your body to be there without forcing it. 

* You become aware of breathing. You breathe in and out in such a way to bring harmony into your whole body

* If you smile lightly, that is also for your total relaxation while sitting. 

* You allow everything to be relaxed, to rest

* This is not striving (?). This is not a fight. This is an open opportunity for you to enjoy sitting.

* Of course, you have to select a kind of cushion and make your cushion portable so that you can sit at least 20 or 30 minutes. If you have a right cushion, keep it. Don't let others take it away. Put your name on it.

Although your spinal column is very straight, forming with your head aligned, you are totally relaxed. You let go of everything. 

Your breathing in and out is to harmonize your body and your mind. You bring your mind back to your body. You bring your body back to your mind. Your breathing is a kind of mediation. It is a kind of link between the two. Breathing in and out like that a few times, you bring yourself to the perfect position of sitting. 

And you say now this is the time for me to enjoy my sitting. Because if you don't enjoy your sitting, then other things will not be possible. At least we have to be able to enjoy our sitting.

You know that this morning we learned that the first dhyana still has a thinking. So, thinking is admitted in the beginning but you have to get the joy and happiness. If there is no joy and happiness, and there is no concentration, it's not sitting. And if you sit properly, you enter the first dhyana. 

We have learned that joy can protect that you can release your worry. You know that this is the time when you should be free. If you carry your problems and difficulties with you, your anger with you, your questions with you, and then enjoying sitting would not be possible. 

The first thing you have to do is to enjoy your sitting. Joy and happiness born from abandonment and from concentration. And your breathing is there to help you concentrate. 

Concentrate firstly on your breath. 
Breathing in, I feel calm
Breathing out, I smile
Breathing in, I feel relaxed
Breathing out, I feel happy, I feel free.

Sitting is the sitting. It's like drinking your tea. You have some time in order to drink your tea. Drinking your tea in such a way that peace and joy and stability be possible. Sitting is the same. 

Sitting is an occasion for you and an opportunity for you. So, don't do it as a form. Try to pro perfect (?) the sitting. Because people in our time, they don't have that relaxed way of sitting and doing nothing

Sitting two times a day is a treat. Therefore, try to enjoy. Learn to enjoy the sitting to be free. You don't have to do much as you feel the sitting brings you stability, brings you peace, brings you enjoyment. That is already nourishing.

The practice of looking deeply, looking into the nature of impermanence, of non-self, of nirvana will be based on that foundation. It's a nourishment. So, please always inquire so that you become more and more of an artist, how to handle the moments of your daily life.

If you are nourished and if you feel better, you can smile, you can be pleasant. You already have begun to be a positive element of the sangha. And your contribution to the sangha will be very precious.

(My commentary)
Sitting is for joy and happiness, not for competition which causes afflictions and sufferings. Therefore, we need to stop thinking which causes separation, discrimination, or duality. Doing nothing means stopping thinking. Non-thinking is essential to revive awareness, touch the wonders of life and the true nature of reality. Only if we understand the ultimate truth by becoming one with the object, we can throw away all notions and attain full enlightenment, or nirvana.


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