One From the Books

My own little koan of the past year: Are meditating while practicing Ashtanga and meditating while sitting zazen the same or different?

From “Sitting with Koans”:

Hakuin…emphasized practice in the midst of activity… ‘I am not trying to tell you to discard completely quietistic meditation and to seek specifically for a place of activity to carry on your practice. What is most worthy of respect is a pure koan meditation that neither knows nor is conscious of the two aspects, the quiet and the active. This is why it has been said that the true practicing monk walks but does not know he is walking, sits but does not know he is sitting.

For penetrating to the depths of one’s own true self-nature and for attaining a vitality valid on all occasions, nothing can surpass meditation in the midst of activity.’

Mysore practice was good this morning, though I couldn’t get my hands in supta k. It felt rather tragic for a moment, but then there was the next breath, and time to be off on other pursuits.

I ate fish twice yesterday–mercury…uh, I mean, tuna for lunch, and sushi for dinner. I generally don’t eat much animal food at all, so this was a big dose of it. My mind felt really pointed this morning, but maybe a little too hard, like its surface was steely, somehow. So I wasted some time thinking about my diet during practice. Maybe the supta k problem was from stiffness due to eating animals. *Sigh.* Like my thinking about it would change the situation. Not.

Anyhow, I’ve been thinking about willfulness the past couple of days (most notably, yesterday morning while I washed the venetian blinds in the kitchen by hand). Willfulness is interesting: people love it or they hate it. I want to play around with some ideas, and then maybe write a bit about it. I think it may play strongly into my practice, and may even be a large part of why karma brought me to practice.

Happy Monday! (and yes, that’s sarcastic 😉