Day 169 – Today’s reading is about training the unruly mind like a child or a puppy through meditation. It presupposes that we are “children of the light, born in darkness.” Although Rolf warns that “it is very important to come to know this unruliness in yourself that you be willing to embrace and not judge it,” I don’t quite subscribe philosophically to taming my mind through seated zazen. I believe it to be one way to create habitual mind patterns that illuminate our divinity (and which shadow our humanness). I do agree with Rolf that our humanness and “suffering” shows through with meditation as a spiritual practice.
Rolf gives the reason for this, writing: “It is only with an adequate understanding of our untamed mind that we can begin to understand the nature of our suffering, the meaning of the word surrender, and the point of spiritual practice.” One way I would take this is that meditation is purely a spiritual practice and not a mental practice. I never really thought of it in this terms and trying to do meditation in the way that yogi’s does has always been self-defeating. Once I look at meditation in terms of spiritual practice (which seems like a big DUH to me now), I understand why I find my calmness and clarity in physical movement which brings me presence and knitting/sewing/crocheting and pathwork. In particular, there are a lot of things I do which require me to train my mind to be set on the action or event of the moment and if I dwell there, I am giving of myself fully, whether it is something I particularly want to do or not. In this way, I think I come to understand that I am not so far from my mat at many moments in my day and not a complete failure when it comes to niyamas and yamas.