Today I saw this quote of Zen Master Seung Sahn and it made me comment on it a bit more because this point is so important:
Many people have the narrow view that meditation is something you do at a certain time and place: when you sit down on a cushion or chair and do meditation. That’s a super important (but small) part of meditation, we call “sitting meditation”. And then we get up from the cushion and leave the room and then… what? Is meditation time over and are we all back in the endless stream of nonsense chatter in our head? …
Why would you want to drink dirty muddy water again (and pretend to yourself “it’s clear water”) after you just discovered the source of clear water?
If you want to live a truly mindful life, meditation (Zen) has to become the very center of your life. It doesn’t mean you have to shave your head and become a monk or priest. It could mean that if that’s your karma and your path, but not necessarily. This could also be just another ego-trap, where you continue chasing achievements, titles, power, wonderful meditation experiences and the illusion of self-improvement. Been there, done that. It’s a trap too and needs to be let go of.
What it really needs is your clear honest commitment to walk this world with a clear unshakable view of being responsible for this world, for its pain, it’s wound as well as its pleasures and joys.
A clear and honest commitment to try your best to wake up from this collective “I, My, Me” ego-dream and to help this world. That’s how you change and how everything around you will change over time. It starts with you changing your mindset, not with building more efficient cars, even though this is also helpful. But that is never enough to “save this planet”. You need to change first. And all of us together.
Make meditation the center of your life and not to one of those satellites that circle around this imagined dreamlike center we might call “my life”. Those satellites circling around “my-life-center” could be “my job”, “my hobbies”, “my fitness”, “my piano lessons”, “my family”, “my freinds”…
Only if you honestly live from the center of your very core, patiently investigating yourself non-stop, and failing to do so, AND getting up again, with no regret, no wish to win, with a mind that never gives up trying, with all the insecurity and vulnerABILITY that comes with it, than you start to live from your center. That’s true meditation and that’s how you can help this world and how you help yourself to become who you really are.
Don’t let meditation just be satellite circling around an imaginary dream, when it was truly designed to help you WAKE UP, be FREE and HELP OTHERS.
Mu Bul 無佛 is a Zen priest (Senior Dharma Teacher, Kwan Um Zen tradition), Yoga practitioner, entrepreneur, artist, photographer and writer. Born, raised and living in Germany. He graduated with a Masters in Philosophy and Art history. Also working as a life and business coach focusing on unlocking your personal or your companies potential with attention- and mindfulness training for greater focus, compassion, resilience and stress reduction.