STATS – Day: 8 | Distance: 949 miles | Location: West Bath, Maine | Money Spent To Date – Gas: $107.70| Food: $31.40 | Play/Misc: $31.93 | Lodging $90.00
I’ve been at the Dzogchen Meditation Center, cell phone turned off, unplugged from the outside world. I won’t lie, I went a little crazy (or as my friend Andi says “K-Ray”) at first.
And then I gave in to it. Let the disconnect wash over me like a warm river.
Dzogchen’s Tibetan Buddhism Meditation is based on natural awareness or the true nature of our mind when it is free from habituation. This is both an easy concept AND a difficult practice. From 6am until 1pm we meditate as a group in silence, only the gong of the bell signals that we change our meditation from sitting, to walking, back to sitting.
While I’m there I try to focus on “this space” that I’m in, my mind starts to wander and I bring it back and focus on my breathing, I feel tickles on my face and arms from real and imaginary bugs that have found their way into the room. I resist the urge to scratch or move and focus on my breathing. My foot falls asleep, the numbness, then the tingle, then the ache, and I think to myself “I hope I’ll be able to walk when it comes time to stand”, and then bring my focus back to my breathe. I make it through and hear the gong of the bell.
I was successful at meditating from 6am to 9am, then I became exhausted and took a nap until noon. I ate lunch and then went for a walk and observed all the wild flowers, taking photos of each one, taking time to study their details. I did a watercolor sketch and lost myself in the activity. This is also meditating, being singularly focused on one thing.
How many times is my mind occupied with “stuff” instead of paying attention to this wonderful world around me. When was the last time I put all my focus on one thing, on anything. I made a mental note to work on being fully present in the moment. To many times I’m just go, go, go.
In the evening we have sitting meditation from 5-6pm and then an activity from 6:30-9pm. We practiced the art of Kyudo’s Seven Coordinations, shichi-do, the basic form for aligning the body and properly releasing the arrow. This is an activity in standing meditation. It was beautiful to watch Tashi go through the movements and see his focus on each part. He’s teaching Dorje, who has been at the center for a year now and has taken his monk vows. Dorje became interested in the concept of mind conditioning, separate from obtaining knowledge, and found his way to Maine from the Dakotas. I trained along side with Nate, who arrived a week and a half ago. He likes the small group and dedicated seated meditation to settle his anxious thoughts.
5 Pieces of Advice (short version)
The mundane details of our life eats us up. Continually ask yourself what is important.
Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.
Rest in the insecurity. Go at our own pace.
Don’t believe everything you think.
Take exactly what happens as your path.
– Ani Pema Chodron
Take time to acknowledge and appreciate the present, for it will never be there again.
If you are interested in meeting Tashi and/or learning more about the Dzogchen Meditation Center, visit their website @ http://www.dzogchenmeditation.com or through Airbnb @ Dzogchen Meditation Center
*lotus photo by Carolyn French
Next Blog: #AdventuresCollide
Previous Blog: #KeepOnTruckin’
Back to all blogs on Pipe’s Adventure