reading has always been a pleasure, but recently i discovered it can also be a massive aid on the path.
today was a fairly nice day. today’s dichotomy was lopsided in that i started out very distressed but moved into a zone of relatively stable mindfulness later on in the day. this has been the case for the past two days, but it was not like this before. the pattern i had accustomed myself to was to spend the day with nearly constant presence which then begins to gently fade away as the day comes to an end. this morning i meditated on three occasions, each time for about 10 minutes. i discovered that each meditation i sit builds on the previous ones. so by the time i had finished the last sitting, i was feeling quite light and buoyant.
i sat on my chair and started to read a book about Zen. it was like the sentences of the book possessed some supernatural powers, as though they had placed a spell on me. thus, i found myself less and less resistant to my efforts to hold the present moment. at these times, it almost feels effortless to remain mindful. at others – such as yesterday – it can be quite impossible. however, the words empowered me and i spent the second half of the day in joy and in the NOW. the picture serves to illustrate the illuminating effect i felt the words contained.
it’s funny but as i began to analyze every tiny little insignificant event in my mind as i read, i found a sort of theatrical phantom reproduction of every nugget of knowledge i swallowed out of the book. it was almost as though my mind was trying to understand what was stimulating it through attempting to relate to it. and it is this subliminal remembering of feelings like mindfulness and delusions like independent existence and other related previously-realized realizations that creates the atmosphere which so delicately nurtures me into presence.
i resolve to maintain the diligent act of studying and reading books about the Dharma and spirituality which will keep these reinforcing stimuli gently orbiting the focal point of my mind so as to keep me present for longer and longer durations in order to nourish the garden out of which my Buddha-Nature shall surely sprout even if it shall require one thousand lifetimes to do so.
one further realization i made today was related to the path of Right Speech. i realized that the vast majority of the speech that oozes out of my mouth is wrong speech. i resolve to keep my filthy mouth shut, unless directly spoken to or where my speech is otherwise deemed to be needed. i vow to hold my tongue from its spontaneous ejaculations which can sometimes have far-reaching consequences that i am not mindful yet enough to be fully aware of.
“However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?”