The impermanence of all things includes meditation. While you are wholly in one moment, the moments change – there is not simply one breath, but another breath that follows. If you hold your breath, you will pass out. Eventually an individual will stop breathing. But another will continue. Focusing on being in the moment, being where you are, you can see that even meditation is not permanent. This “spiritual practice hones skills, including the religiously valued to do one thing…to do everything we do with full attention.” (Burford 2003)
“We tend to see body, breath, and mind separately, but in zazen they come together as one reality. The first thing to pay attention to is the ...view middle of the document...
Meditation allows one to step away from the external noise of life and see the patterns and events that are creating and continuing suffering in one’s life.
II. Moral Conduct – the Five Precepts
The five precepts allow one to let go of the root causes of suffering. To do no harm, one lets go of greed or hatred. Letting one see everything together, “self” and “others”, to harm others, one harms self; to harm self, harms others. When doing no harm, there is no suffering.
To avoid taking what is not given, one must let go of greed. One cannot be delusional about what they deserve or are due, but accept what is. Accepting what is will lessen suffering.
Avoiding false or harmful speech immediately dismisses delusion – both deluding oneself and others. False speech can be cause by greed or hatred. Not to hurt oneself or others in this way, one must let go of all the root causes of suffering.
Lust is both a cause and effect of greed. Misusing sexuality is often hateful. Both come from or lead to delusion. When lust or sexuality are freely given and received, cause no harm to others, come without deception, and are done with sober mind, there is no suffering.
Avoiding intoxicants ensures the ability to pay full attention to being. This allows for clarity of mind to follow the noble eight fold path; to step away from grasping, aversion and ignorance.
III. Understanding the Impact of these Practices
The Buddhist Precept Exercise helped me to see the need to have clarity; to focus on even small acts I do without thinking. People who are able to be mindful of each moment can weigh their actions to live their lives according to their beliefs. Applying the five precepts, which seem broad at first, and looking at one’s daily actions with that type of lens, someone can determine how actions affect their life. Seeing those patterns and actions, they gain wisdom into where the roots of suffering are present in their life, and can work toward liberation from suffering.
Meditation is a practice that lets the mind learn to clear, not empty or blank, but more be clean and organized so one can focus. Then the ability...