Monday, March 14, 2011

A quote on meditation

Just stumbled upon this clever quote from the great Tibetan yogi Milarepa about meditating properly.
When you run after your thoughts you are like a dog chasing a stick; every time a stick is thrown, you run after it. But if, instead, you look at where your thoughts are coming from, you will see that each thought arises and dissolves within the space of that awareness, without engendering other thoughts. Be like a lion, who, rather than chasing after the stick, turns to face the thrower. You only throw a stick at a lion once.
Oh, and now I am reminded of the moniker assigned to me at the monastery: Chokyi Senge, which in Tibetan means "Dharma Lion" (and "Dharma," in turn, is something like "the truths expounded by the Buddha").

By the way, if the analogy of a dog chasing after a stick isn't clear, I think of it like this: thoughts can arise by themselves. When you're meditating on the breath, they often do. What often ends up happening is that you'll sort of start "owning" the thoughts, or becoming attached to them. At that point you often start narrating them, and you're off to the races, riding one thought to the next. Instead, if you stop believing that you own or are responsible for the thoughts, they quickly melt away.

Now to find the thrower...