Start by bringing your attention to the flow of your breathing, slightly deepening your in-breath and lengthening your out-breath. Feel your feet on the floor and the weight of your body on your seat. Once you feel settled, pose a question to your self in a slow and reflective way: “What do I want right now?” Your attention might go from desiring a cup of coffee, to surfing on the internet, even to yearning for enlightenment. Desire is subtle, complex, and ever changing.
Then notice how the energy of craving and wanting feel in your mind and body- perhaps there is a tightening of the throat, a tensing somewhere in the body, or a widening of the eyes.
You can then pose a second question: “How do I want things to be different from how they are now?” Once again this may relate to your immediate state of mind, your financial situation, your relationship, or your life in general. See if you can tune into the feeling of dissatisfaction with the present moment and the craving for something better, and notice how this affects the way you think and feel. Simply acknowledge what the energy of wanting and craving feels like for you.
Conclude the practice by bringing a brief gesture of kindness to yourself by placing your hand on your heart.
~Rob Nairn, Choden, and Heather Regan-Addis
for your raw and willy-nilly ways….it’s all welcome on the wave of breath….
inquiry for today~ every time you ask yourself, “Who am I now?” you receive a little grace….
Bernie Glassman phrased the 3 tenets of Zen in a fresh, modern idiom. 1) not knowing, thereby giving up fixed ideas about ourselves, other people, and the universe. 2) bearing witness to the joy and suffering of the world. 3) loving action for ourselves and others.
“Bernie tough me more about grief than anyone,” said Joan Halifax at the memorial for him held at Upaya Zen Center. “What we learned from him is that to turn away from grief is to turn away from life.” Glassman and his wife Jishu had moved from Yonkers to Santa Fe in March, 1998. Six days after moving in, before they even finished unpacking, Jishu had a heart attack. Four days later, she passed away. Glassman did not hide his grief from anyone and he did not want consolation. Time went by and Glassman began to feel a shift. From his bearing witness- she was integrating with him. “When she was still alive, Jishu had brought into our relationship certain energies that lay dormant in me,” Glassman wrote. “Now, with her death, I either had to manifest them myself or watch them disappear from my life. Bernie died, too. Someone else is now emerging, someone else is coming to life.”
“When we don’t know- when we let go and sit with shock, pain, and loss, with no answers, solutions, or ideas, with nothing at hand but this moment, this pain, this grief, this absence- then out of that something arises. And what arises is love. I don’t have to do anything. I don’t have to create anything. Love arises by itself. It’s been there all the time, and now, when I’m less protected than at any other moment in my life, it’s there. People ask me every day how I’m doing. I don’t know how to answer them; there are no words. So I just tell them I’m bearing witness. It must be hard, they say. No. It’s raw, that’s all. It’s bearing witness, and the state of bearing witness is the state of love.”