To be a Taoist means many things to many people. To be a practitioner of Contemporary Taoism simply means to have realised that we are all minute parts of an indescribably large Whole (the Tao), and to choose therefore to 'Flow Like Water' and live in a spontaneous, natural manner. This blog is about: Personal Growth / Spiritual Development as guided by the principles of Eastern Philosophy, particularly modern philosophical Taoism; Developing constructive habits and achieving success with minimal effort; Meditation - Taoist, Zen or otherwise. See 'What In Lao Tzu's Name is a Contemporary Taoist?'

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Unimportance of Zazen

I was lying on the couch last night flicking through a nice little book of Zen reflections, when I decided that, even though it was very late and I was sleepy, I would go into my meditation room for a sit before bed. I then played a little game that I sometimes play whereby I closed the book and thought to myself 'Whatever page I open to I will meditate on'

I opened to a page with the bold heading 'The Unimportance of Zazen', the main point of which was to point out that, ideally, the practitioner should be practicing meditation at all times, not just on his/her cushion (or chair). All of life is zazen. Mindfulness. All that.

The title made me chuckle. Maybe I should just go straight to bed?

'No' I thought 'A short sit. Good Discipline.'

So I went into my meditation room and sat on my chair. Fairly quickly I fell into a dozy stupor and had to keep bringing myself back from dreams every ten seconds.

Then suddenly I fell asleep for a second and then woke up with a start when I began to overbalance and nearly fell off my roost.

Eyes wide open from the effect of waking up with a start, I blinked and looked at the black door against the pink wall. And there I was - I had reached what I call Deep Consciousness. I had sat there for about five minutes, fallen asleep for a second, then woken up in that blissful, alert, state (samadhi) that I sometimes meditate for hours without managing to achieve. In this state all things are experienced as one, the environment appears almost luminescent, so clear is my state of lucid hyper-awareness. Even the mundane glows with a universal beauty. Calm awareness pervades. Acceptance of all things is as easy as breathing.

I again chuckled to myself.

'Zazen? Unimportant! Tao is always right in front of me! I'm going to bed!'


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