Monday, November 15, 2004

Beads on a String

It has really struck me over the weekend how much the continuity of meditation is facilitated by a daily practice. For many years when I started on the Dharmic path, I was fiercely concerned that I should meditate every day, following my teachers advice. Like many things in those days, there was a sense of struggle, of battle, of throwing myself up headfirst against all that I was seeking to move away from, and towards all that which I wished to encourage. So meditation practice was something which sometimes I had to 'fight' to get into my day, up against so many other activities and responsibilities as it was.

In more recent years, I seem to have relaxed somewhat, and things are no longer the 'battle' or 'struggle' they were. I'm more able to allow things to be as they are, and allow the practice to do the work, without excessive 'doing', and allow dharmas to self-liberate in awareness and love.

So meditation, like other things, had become one flavour of the day, and sometimes I skipped one of my sessions at the weekend if family responsibilities seemed like a more skilful thing to do. In a week then, I'd meditate 6 days out of 7, and do my various samaya commitments on the day that I skipped.

Recently, I've been meditating in the living room when I get up at weekends, and part way through my two year old tends to wake up and come down. As I've posted before, it's been a very beautiful time, sharing the space with him, and radiating spacious awareness amongst his busy inquisitive doings.

But it's really struck me once again how the sense of continuity in meditation has been facilitated by this 'every day' fullness of my meditation practice. There's a stronger sense of momentum which is maintained by running through my full practice every day. Each time I start meditation, the flavour is so readily there, and so strong, as if I've barely stopped meditating. Some days, it almost feels like deja vu, as if 'surely I've already meditated today', such is the strength of what readily comes into awareness at the beginning of practice.

It feels like a string of beads, one right up against the other, with so little gap between. And like thumbing beads in prayer, they slide along in a dynamic continuity, moving and shuffling, but always in connection. My meditation shimmers and moves, and has a shifting pattern like the weather. But so much runs through it which seems connected and threaded. Not like something, a 'thing', which is passed from one day to the other. More like flames which flicker on, a continuity, but where is the substance in a flame which truly is continuous?

The sense of wholeness and meaning is strong .... the feeling of connection runs deep. Blessings overflow, and gratitude is something which bubbles up, hardly able to show how wondrous this thing is, this gift, this precious, precious jewel.

Like beads on a string, the rhythms of life and practice flow on. Each moment a bead, each meditation session a bead, each being encountered a bead, each bead a Buddha.

9 comments:

Meredith said...

...and a fine illuminated thread running through it all.

In continuity,
Meredith

Anonymous said...

What kind of meditation do you do daily?

- Al - http://www.khephra.org

Anonymous said...

This is really beautiful and the image helps me greatly.
Mahala~LuminousHeart

Al said...

I love the sense of "regularness" - no big, great ceremonious bruhaha - no grand epic strugle against evil - just breath in breath out - smile - and this too. Nice.

Al said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Al said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maarten said...

Thks, Chodpa. This post helps me a lot. Wishing you the best in your practise!

Chodpa said...

Hi wonderful this sharing on the Internet. Thank you all so much for your gracious comments. It's really a great blessing how so many people add their reflections to a post, and bring out another facet of the shining jewel of Dharma .....

may you all dwell in the great awakening ....

Chodpa said...

Hi Al from http://www.khephra.org ... you asked what kind of meditation I do daily? I practice Chod, which comes from Machig Labdron, and Mahamudra as taught by all the great lineage masters of the Kagyu. I am so unbelievably blessed to have had the great good fortune to have learnt such practices from my teacher, Shangpa Rinpoche.

best wishes in the Dharma to you