Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How to Meditate on the Train

I live in the village of Babice, about 6km through the forest from Říčany, which itself is only a one-horse market town a half-hour train ride form Prague. Out here, there is no great demand for meditation tuition. One sees more wild boar than Buddhists.

Thus having some time spare, I have produced a very short, pocket-sized book. It is called How to Meditate on the Train. Two days a week I work in Prague. I join the commuters on the train. To many of them, this seems like dead time – or even an unpleasant time. I meditate on the train and it makes such a fine start to my working day! So I wrote a book to share what I know in a manner appropriate to the commuting environment. Having field-tested the book, I can tell you that the techniques taught are also appropriate for use in planes.

If you know anyone obliged to travel by train or plane who could find the experience more fruitful and pleasant, please let them know of this book's existence.

Europe: For the pocket-sized paperback, click here and for the eBook, here.
America: For the pocket-sized paperback, click here and for the eBook, here.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Dojo of Nature


"My Dojo is nature; it is the universe. This is truly a dwelling, a practice hall and a temple built by the spirit. If you look with the eyes of your heart, you will see that nature is the teacher that possesses all the scientific and spiritual truth that will lead you to enlightenment. It is imperative that those on the path practice with this knowledge held deeply within their hearts."

Ueshiba Morihei Sensei

To only practice Zen in the confines of the Zendo is to be deceived by forms. The Zendo walls are not the walls spoken of by Bodhidharma, nor are the walls of any cave. The walls you must see and stare down are the obscurations that you have created in your own mind.

Facing the wall means to face your own barriers, your fears, your stories. Facing the wall means to focus your mind on that which keeps you from seeing clearly. To awaken means to penetrate the wall of your self-imposed ignorance and see the entire world exactly as it is!


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Products of our Environment

Recently I had an opportunity to teach zazen at a Waldorf school in Prague. For those of you unfamiliar with the Waldorf movement, the schools are based on spiritual principles which encourage a holistic approach to education. This means they are the kind of schools where middle class hippies send their children.

Despite being teenagers from very liberal families, very few of these students had any previous meditation experience. However, you wouldn't have known. Breathing the "right" way came to them naturally. One-pointed mind came to them naturally. Having been raised in non-materialistic environments, they lacked the angst and hunger of the modern world.

Many of us, by our lifestyles, create for ourselves problems which we then seek to solve through meditation. Better to seek a lifestyle in which the problems do not arise.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What is the source of this sound?


Walking along the mountain path
A temple bell echoes across the valley
Amidst whispering pines and birdsong
What is the source of this sound?