Re: [Meditation Society of America] Balance between spiritual and physical?
- Hi Ben,
I can relate in part with your problem. I do have time to meditate at home, but my work needs extreme focus and concentration to be done, which makes it very difficult to do it with mindfulness (I'm a computer programmer, so I have to always be focused on writing programs or even more focused while debugging them lol)
What I can tell you is what my master's master said: conscience is a continuum. It doesn't stop when you stop meditating, and if you think that it is ok to be concious only when you're meditating and then you can go about your day in unconsciousness, you're fooling yourself.
So, by default, even if you had no time to do regular sitting meditations (which is kinda unbelievable, because we always have time, we just fool ourselves), you can still practice mindfulness in everything you do, which help us in developing our awareness further and deepens our sitting meditations. Do you have time to sleep ? If you are like me, you can see that meditation relaxes you (so 1 hour of meditation relaxes you like 3 hours of sleeping)... so why not take one hour out of sleeping to meditate ?
My biggest obstacle right now is really mindfulness -- it is still hard to me to remember myself when I'm programming with 12 ssh sessions opened, have a meeting in 20 minutes while two servers are having problems that need to be fixed, three guys waiting for a technical answer from me, etc. Luckly things aren't that hectic every time =)
As a side note, one thing that I've noticed (and this is my personal opinion and experience, so it may change next week), is that mindfulness is not really something you practise, that you do. It is a byproduct that comes from awareness, I think, and not the other way around. To explain... I can go all day trying to remember myself, and be aware of every action that I make, but it is always something hard to do, that requires much effort, and feels unnatural. On the other hand, whenever I end my regular meditations (let's say a 2 hours meditation), I notice that I "practise" mindfulness without even trying -- I become mindful without effort, it just flows. Naturally, I become aware of every movement of the body and mind... unfortunately, after a while, it wears off...
Another personal thought about this subject... there's no distinction between "the physical and the spiritual", the same way as there is no distinction between science and magic =) You're always physical, and you are always be spiritual, they aren't converging things, nor co-related things. Even wearing your shoes is a physical act, and should also be a spiritual act.
DanielOn 7/15/07, Benjamin Buehne <benbuehne@...> wrote:
I have been thinking about a troubling predicament, one that has been brought to light after embarking on a new career. How is one to balance between the physical and the spiritual.
I ask this as my new job requires many hours and at times can be quite stressful. This has interfered with my practice of meditation both in the amount of time devoted to it and the effectiveness of it.
The solution seems simple at first, if one can't complete a job and remain spiritual than the job must go. However, according to several schools of thought, it is your physical actions and work in and of themselves that are more important than the act of meditation. Otherwise my gift of life would go to waste... not to mention I would have a more difficult time actually living (paying bills and whatnot).
I know others here have had to struggle with similar dilemmas. What philosophies have you all followed concerning meeting this balance and what advice can you give.
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"If you are still asking for the result, then a very subtle effort will continuously be there. You will not be just sitting; you cannot just sit if there are any desires. The desire will be a subtle movement in you, and the movement will continue. You may be sitting like a stone or like a buddha, but still within the stone will be moving. Desire is movement."