Single-pointed, Poison Arrow
Breath and body mindfulness meditations can take on many forms. Practicing clear comprehension of the posture, movements, breathing... calming, becoming steady. This happens through training our minds to narrowly focus attention as we choose, then learning how to negotiate what we intend with the mind through the actions of the body. That takes persistence and careful attention, making small corrections along the way, studying the results of those actions and trying not to get caught up in disappointment or attachment to outcome.
Just continue recollecting, aiming and observing.
I've been shooting at targets a long time (never any living) and I don't keep score. The target is only one tiny piece of this activity. It shows only the millisecond in time that the arrow was released and the cause of the conditions that led up to it being in that spot. Archery as a meditation is my benefit.
Although it is much easier to collect your arrows of they're all in one place ;)
And always, always know what lies beyond your target!
Unlike life, where we're shooting arrows all over the place everyday. Never really knowing where they land, or who might get hit. Ever get hit by a stray arrow? Sure you have. And I bet you want someone to blame for it too! But that's not part of the deal. By taking birth, we signed up for the "getting-hit-by-stray-arrows' course.
The Buddha taught a parable about this. One of his students was going on and on, asking a million questions of him about all the unanswered mysteries of life and death. "Where do we come from? Where do we go? Are we something or or are we nothing?" He was really upset that the Buddha wouldn't directly address these things, since he seemingly had all the answers!
So the Buddha explains to him about life. He says, let's say you got hit with a poison arrow and before removing it, you demanded to know what the arrow was made of, what type of feathers it was fletched with, or whether it was it shot from a long-bow, a recurve or a compound? What was the political or religious principles of the shooter?
While concerning yourself with all these questions, you would surely die of your injury. He said, all we needed to know was what suffering is (getting shot by a poison arrow) and how to end it (promptly removing the arrow).
This would be the way to liberation and thus, the questions rendered fruitless.
The journey IS the destination, so enjoy the ride.
4/14/2020 12:26:16 pm
It is nice to see the teaching about questions in parable form. Long before I ever meditated I decided that trying to answer these questions was only so much navel gazing while we are in physical bodies. I am satisfied with this perceived uncertainty.
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