Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sitting in the Meditation Hall

Listen deeply to the following Thay's teaching on "Sitting in the Meditation Hall" from 37:08 to 40:40.
The followings are the excerpts.

After you have come to the meditation hall and sit down, you may ask the question of "What am I to do? What is the purpose of coming here to the meditation hall and sit?". And you are concerned about the quality of your sitting. The sitting in order to become the Buddha. Sitting in order to work out with your difficulty. Sitting in order to have a kind of view and insight that can liberate yourself from suffering, your jealousy, your anger. Of course, sitting can help you in doing these things. But sitting, first of all, is just to enjoy sitting. And that is the fundamental thing. Sitting meditation is, first of all, to enjoy sitting. 

The other day, I talked about Nelson Mandela. He visited France. And he declared to the press that what he wanted to do the most is just to sit down and doing nothing. His intention is clear. You understand him? Because many of us have been busy in that way, not only in this life but in our past life. You may have achieved a lot of things. You may have conquered the world. You may have succeeded in your business in getting fameprofit and things like that. 

But the question is whether you have truly lived a life. And what is the meaning of the life? To live deeply each moment, to enjoy the wonders of life in each moment. There are moments when you sit. There are moments when you walk. There are moments when you contemplate the nature, the sky, the trees, listening to the birds. There are moments when you drink a cup of tea. There is moment when you share a meal with your sangha, with your beloved one. There are moments like that.

The question is whether in this moment you are truly yourself and enjoy deeply this moment. Namely, have you really lived your life? You always try to strive, to achieve things. Getting your diploma, you have got it. You spent a lot of time, a lot of energy, a lot of nights and days in order to get the diploma. You have got it. Congratulations! But that's not life. But that's not life yet. 

(My commentary)
In this case, Thay's word of "Congratulations!" is very ironic. That's because he sees the diploma is not as valuable as life. He must regard the diploma as just a sheet of paper just like money, power, fame, or the material value. In this sense, it was a waste of time and energy to get the diploma. To the contrary, love and compassion, peace, joy, happiness, or the spiritual value can be attained only if we live in mindfulness, concentration and insight. And sitting meditation is one of the methods to be truly oneself (awareness) and enjoy deeply this moment through mindfulness. 
In order to become true education, the school education is required to introduce the teaching of "How to be truly oneself (awareness) and enjoy deeply this moment" in addition to the current curriculum based on material or economic value.

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