Re: Meditation (Was: Diaries ...)

From: Martin Ling (
Date: Tue Jun 13 2000 - 08:40:47 MDT

On Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 09:31:23AM -0700, Zero Powers wrote:
> >From: Martin Ling <>
> I need to meditate more, but I can't seem to do it unless conditions are
> optimal (i.e., dark and quiet). The only time I seem to be able find those
> optimal conditions are after I put the kids to sleep. By then I've already
> eaten dinner and I also find it difficult to deeply meditate on a full
> stomach. I know this is probably more of a time management problem than a
> meditation problem, but any suggestions would be appreciated.

In the Zen tradition, sitting down for zazen is not meant in just the
physical sense. By sitting down to meditate, you are choosing to put
aside your other concerns.

Dark and quiet is not required, and you should ultimately find this to
be so (on several occasions, I have meditated in Leicester Square). What
is required is for you to let go of all external concerns. I can use a
loud and crowded place, because the activity around me is of no interest
or worry to me.

Whilst your children are awake, you will naturally wish to remain aware
of what they are doing and attend to them if necessary. This, rather
than the noise and light, is your key restriction.

> Also, what method of meditation do you find most beneficial? I find the
> transcendental method easiest to do, but the Zen "quiet the monkey mind"
> most effective. But it is almost impossible for me to initiate the
> relaxation response using the Zen method unless it is completely quiet and
> dark and I don't have a lump of food traveling through my digestive system.

I should point out that initially, my meditation was based on my own
experimentation, and it was later that I investigated established
practices. I have learnt and practiced the Zen methods, and find them
very effective - although after some practice, experimentation and
advice on the traditional zazen seating position I find I am still not
completely happy with it and I use a modified form.

In some ways, trying any new practice can be beneficial. By following
different instructions, one finds well the common aspects of them and
can adapt and improvise effectively.


-----[ Martin J. Ling ]-----[ ]-----

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