Tuesday, January 26, 2010

peace of mind

practicing peace of mind from Andy Olendzki

What does it feel like to rest the mind after a period of busy activity, of multi-tasking, or of having to shove the mind through a series of words or numbers or stories in order to accomplish some task? If you have just finished some complex project, or something involving a lot of reading or listening or speaking, see what if feels like to relax the mind and let it wander free and easy. Perhaps this involves gazing off out the window, or into the landscape, or at the empty sky; perhaps it is closing the eyes and thinking about nothing whatsoever for a few moments; or maybe you can grab half an hour or an hour to sit in meditation and watch the spinning of the mind gradually spiral down and down into deeper levels of calm and relaxation.

* RIGHT NOW! What mental qualities are presenting themselves to inquiring attention?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

peace of body

After our retreat this weekend, I'd like to share some of Andy Olendzki's practice suggestions around the experience of peace.

Andy: "peace is a word that can mean many things in many different contexts, and this is what we can explore in direct experience"

"In each of these cases we are trying to connect directly to the experience of peace, to come to recognize it, to investigate it, and gradually also to cultivate it. By experience we mean not the idea of peace, or thinking about peace, or merely noticing the absence of various forms of turmoil—rather we are pointing to a way of actively exploring the texture of the mind and body in this present moment as it manifests peace."

He proceeds to offer several suggestions. The following is the first on peace in the body, physical peace.

"What does it feel like to sit quietly for some time after a period of heightened physical activity? As you sit quietly after a vigorous workout, a hard day’s work, or some other form of bustling activity, see if you can explore the texture of the peacefulness that descends on the body. Feel the muscles relax; feel the breathing slow down; feel the calm as it settles upon the systems of the mind and body as a tangible state, an experience in itself. Peacefulness is not just the absence of agitation or activity, but is itself a positive quality or state that can be accessed, investigated, and understood viscerally."

"* RIGHT NOW! What sensations are arising and passing away in the body?"