I am once again attempting to keep on the Noble Eightfold Path, after not making it so far along last week, but I am determined to get it right this time and become actually very enlightened. The hard part for me is with all the sitting quietly and counting your breaths. As it stands I am really a very meager meditator, but have increased my practice to three times daily, twice for one half hour, in the morning, and once for thirty minutes, at night.
The part I keep messing up on is right speech, right mindfulness, right view, right action, right concentration, right diligence, and right thinking. Right livelihood I have got figured out pretty good. I think if the Buddha were alive today he would approve of my work very noddingly. Or maybe not. He didn’t look like a guy who worked out and ever made any kind of overpowering success of it, so maybe not.
As I say, I think much of the time meditation is that essential misplaced ingredient that prevents people from reaching their goals punctually. Training the mind in this way can, and indeed will, give you an unwavering and highly charged discipline in all the laudable quests of life—eating and training and sleeping, how to be more faithful to your wife than the average gorilla is to his, and sometimes it can even help you figure out a way to end a shoddily constructed sentence and not lose any obscurity at all.
The one unifying treatise that I have accepted as absolute truth, undeniable and invulnerable to scrutiny, is the idea that everything is connected and everything matters. I have often put meditation into my clients programs, but from here on out it is very likely that I will mandate it. How can you train the body if you have left the mind so massively undisciplined? The question is a riddle.
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PS – Christine has been reading one of my books on the Noble Eightfold Path. I can’t help but feel like she has been trying to beat me to enlightenment on purpose, so I said to her, I said why don’t you put that book down and try and read something simpler?
PPS – This has nothing to do with meditation or enlightenment, but I am devising, or I guess you could say developing, it doesn’t matter, a program for people like me who have kids and a very busy schedule and want results on the go and fast. I haven’t come up with a title for it yet (if you have any zany ideas, let me know) but this will be a 15-minute a day workout program for whoever is time-crunched. More to come.
PPS – If you are new to meditation you might want to try THIS.