Archive for the ‘meditation’ Category

The fear of death

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Niagara Falls is shunyata.We all fear death. Most people don’t even allow themselves to think about it, it’s so awful, even though it’s the one thing we are all guaranteed (even taxes are optional, after all). It’s this huge, dark, unknown thing, toward which we begin hurtling as soon as we’re born. Some people strongly believe that there’s an afterlife, heaven or another lifetime, or just floating around in cosmic bliss, but it seems to me that this is simply a way to stave off the great fear. Nobody knows what’s going to happen, not really. Not, anyway, to my satisfaction. It’s occurred to me that even science will probably never be able to tell us what lies on the other side of that wall.

Some people think we should be using science and medicine to prolong our lives for thousands of years, even make us immortal. That hunger for more experience, more books, more food, is what the mind does, and when you’ve been taught your whole life that that craving, a big part of the sensation of being alive, is your real self, of course you’re terrified of letting it go. Especially when no one can really promise you that anything better will happen at the end than that you will simply go out like a candle.

(more…)

How to do zazen

Monday, April 20th, 2009

There are lots of guides out there on how to do zazen. I check out a few every once in a while, looking for tips or just to remind myself of all the different elements, and remind myself that I’m not an expert. This one isn’t bad, and has clear photos, but it’s best if you have someone in person to show you the basics. A person could write a book on how to do zazen, but it’s really not complicated.

(more…)