Skip to main content

Meditation: Searching for the Ox

Meditation: Searching for the Ox
Why the ox? Well, look at it, it's right there, in plain sight.

When you start meditating, you're looking for something. And what you're looking for is probably not meditation. That is, you don't want it to be. There's the part about how you're not going to be good at it, and how it's going to be painful, but almost certainly it's a means to an end.

And then you sit down and it's entirely different than you thought. So here is what I've noticed that I think might be helpful, a simple beginning:

Meditation is not hard to learn. Getting started is as simple as sitting down and noticing how it is for you. You don't have to sit in a certain way, although if you start to love it and want to do it more, it may help to figure out how to get comfortable so your body isn't bothering you.

So try that for 5 minutes and see how it goes. Just sit there and notice what your mind does, what your body does, what the air is like on your face, what the sounds are around you. If you love it, try it for 5 more minutes. Don't try and do it right or do it well. Just sit there and notice. And if you care to, try asking yourself this question: "Is anything missing from this moment?" Do this every day for a week and see how it goes.

Rachel Boughton


Popular posts from this blog

A Goose in a Bottle

Koan: A woman raised a goose in a bottle. When the goose had grown, she wanted to get it out, without harming the goose or breaking the bottle. How do you get the goose out of the bottle?

Once I bought a little tree at the store. It was the first tree I ever planted, at a new house when I had just started living something like an adult life. The tree was folded in half with the roots up next to the branches so it was short enough to fit, wrapped in plastic, in a basket with other little trees. The whole thing was about 2 feet long. I brought it home and dug a hole and planted it in the tiny front lawn in front of my house. Somebody told me I planted it too close to... something, maybe the fence or the window, but I didn't believe them. How can you anticipate that something will grow if you've never seen it? But it did, and it was too close, although it took a few years for me to see it.

When I was a kid we got a puppy, a bullmastiff puppy. He was really cute. Someone told me, …

Navigating a Disaster: How Do We Do this?

How to deal with difficult times is fundamental for a spiritual practice, and really, for any human life. There’s birth and death, to start with, and then there is all the conflict and uncertainty that happens in between. Right now the US, and the world, too, are dealing with a dramatic regime change and an upending of values that, while unevenly practiced, we’ve come to expect as foundational. Like many other people, I’ve been trying to understand what’s happening, prepare for it, and make a place for it in my life as woman, a Zen teacher, and a citizen. It’s important to be light on your feet in times like these, and that’s what Zen is about.
This is my particular story, yours could be different.
The World of Form, With a Vengeance
About 6 months ago I started to notice an apparent circus event, a bunch of men, and a woman or two, vying with each other to hold the spot of contender in what looked like it would be pretty clear cut presidential election. What followed you probably know.…

The End of the World as We Know It

Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.-from Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle
Koan: Someone asked the old teacher Dasui, “It’s clear that the fire at the end of time will completely destroy the universe. But tell me, is there something that won’t be destroyed?”
Dasui answered, “It will be destroyed.”

“It will go along with everything else?”