Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sitting Still On A Moving Bus

Since September I've been commuting in to Boston three days a week for work, and on these three days I've taken to meditating on my way in and my way out. Now some might think that this is not the right place to take up a meditation practice--it's not a quiet and peaceful place by any stretch of the imagination! It's cramped and crowded, there's all the bumping and jostling, there's the road noise and the noise of the other commuters. A zendo it is not!

But then I think of the Zen temple I visited in Kyoto. Outside the zendo there is a place where icy cold water falls from the mountain ledges above. I was told that the senior monks often meditate there, beneath the waterfall, because it helps them to stay free from distraction to practice in such a distracting place. So maybe a bus isn't such an odd location to set up your cushion after all.

And, when you come to think of it, where can you find stillness anyway? The earth upon which you sit is spinning around its axis at aproximately 1,000 miles/hour. And the it's orbiting around around the sun at about 67,000 mph. The sun is also rotating around our galaxy at 559,000 mph, and the galaxy itself is rotating at approximately 492,000 mph.

So where in all that movement is the stillness? That's what I'm sitting to discover.

In Gassho,

Print this post

No comments: