Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kerouac Day 15: On Spiritual Power

The above passage from The Dharma Bums inspired me to write an entry in The Beat Handbook titled, "On Spiritual Power" for Day 16. In this entry, I say:
When a problem faces you, become still and pay attention to what your inner voice, your insight, your Buddha nature tells you.

I go on to suggest practicing "zazen," as time "on the cushion" can strengthen your ability to practice stillness. However, in a footnote to the entry added two years after it was written, I point out that one does not have to sit zazen to practice true meditation. This is something I learned from Jiddu Krishnamurti, and it makes a lot more sense to me than carving out special time for it. In Krishnamurti's teachings, you can meditate all the time. Certainly, time sitting zazen can strengthen your ability to do that, and I spent a good amount of time on the cushion. Maybe it's a prerequisite to enable some to follow Krishnamurti's advice, but he would disagree. If you have to do something in order to become still, then you are missing the point. Stillness is available now.

Just ask Eckhart Tolle.

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