Don’t Hesitate… Meditate!: Through this mysterious and ancient process we fully realize our interconnectedness with each other and interdependence with each other and, complete our relationship with ourselves and the whole of nature.
May 31, 2017 02:04PM
● By Seijaku Roshi
You may have heard me say, “Spirituality is not a vacation, but a vocation.” It is a “calling” to and a means by which we fully realize our optimum human potential, our truest identity, and our singular purpose for living. You and I are “Life”. We are parts of a cosmic ecosystem made up of a myriad of life-forms. We exist for a singular purpose, like all other life forms, to live our lives as a benefit for each other. Meditation is the means by which we cultivate awareness and realize this cosmic reality and the whole of life including the natural world, intimately, sensually, and experientially. Through this mysterious and ancient process we fully realize our interconnectedness with each other and interdependence with each other and, complete our relationship with ourselves and the whole of nature. Only then can we ever expect to heal, renew, be truly happy, and insure the sustainability of our species and the planet.
Meditation without a foundation is not meditation, mindfulness without meditation does not work. Whenever we meditate just “to feel peaceful” or just to “manage stress and anxiety” this is not meditation. Any level of peacefulness or tranquility achieved is understood to be a “byproduct” of meditation and not the goal or objective of meditation. The foundation for meditation has to do with a desire to awaken from a lifetime of ego-delusion. The ancient masters all turned to silent contemplation and meditation as a means to “wake up” from the illusion of separateness. The result was always a profound awakening to their interconnectedness with others, followed by a passion to be in relationship with others as a benefit. Thomas Merton wrote, “We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone, we find it with another.” We can say then that, “Relationship” is another byproduct of meditation and authentic spirituality. We meditate to cultivate the wisdom required to nurture the ground for benevolent, sustainable and fulfilling relationships with each other, and the natural world.
The Three Pillars of Zen Spirituality as well as the foundation for a genuine meditation practice are: Buddha-Nature, each of us possess an inherent Wisdom for navigating through life which is reawakened and nurtured through regular meditation training and practice; Dharma, ancient teachings for modern living, which have been well honed and proven over centuries to successfully guide and direct us through life’s mysteries; and Community or Sangha, ordinary people choosing to live extraordinary lives, helping and supporting each other in good times and in bad.
Meditation creates clarity of mind and body in order to be in relationship with others and the whole of nature, and to develop the understanding and skills to relate with compassion, understanding, and benevolence. When we meditate we benefit ourselves and others and bring real change to the world.
I love you.
Seijaku Roshi is the founder of The Center for Spirituality and Contemplation, and spiritual director of Pine Wind Zen Community, at 863 McKendimen Rd., in Shamong, NJ. He is a Zen-Buddhist Monk, parent, author, life coach and Abbot. Learn more at PineWind.org.