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Lions Roar : May 2006
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2006 108 Zen Mountain Monastery Comprehensive introduction to Zen The Eight Gates of Zen training matrix Weekend and week-long retreats Study with experienced teachers A monastic and residential community Set in the beautiful Catskill Mountains (845) 688-2228 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.mro.org One-month Residential Programs Zen Center of New York City Fire Lotus Temple A Lay-Practice Community Offering: Daily meditation schedule Saturday retreats Sunday beginner’s program and Dharma talk Meditation intensives and sesshin Resident Zen Teacher and senior staff Residential training For more information: www.mro.org/firelotus email@example.com (718) 875-8229 4. Internal seeing may arise—visions and visual impressions of colors, forms, land- scapes, and sights either remembered or imaginary, realistic or fantastic. Or visions of colors, forms, sights either remembered or imaginary may arise. It is to be labeled “see- ing,” and observed. Be careful not to get car- ried away with it for it can become absorbing or thrilling, and is often quite pleasant. This can become an issue for some meditators. 5. Moods or mental states—joy, sloth, hatred, and so forth—will become per- vasive, strong, or predominant. Take the mood as the object; label and observe it. If it dissipates, return to the rising and falling. Often, moods and emotions will be associated with sensations in the body. If so, give preference to those sensations rather than any thoughts that may also be arising in association with the mood. In brief one must label and observe ev- erything. Whatever object is the most pre- dominant at any given moment is the focus of attention. You start off with the rising and falling; initially, this develops concen- tration, stabilizes the mind. Later on, ex- amining a greater array of objects builds energy and flexibility. You also return to the primary object whenever there is noth- ing else that is clear and easy to observe. If several objects are about the same in their intensity, simply choose one of them. Mental Factors for Success The most important meditative factor is mindfulness. It should be continuous— ideally from the moment of waking up to the moment of falling asleep. Concen- tration and effort are important too. The meditative factor of “aiming” is the know- ing mind focused at the object. It is with effort that we propel the mind toward the object. When the mind and object are in contact there is “rubbing”—a connected contact of attention and object. Mindful- ness will arise, and so will wisdom, based on concentration. Schedule on Retreat In the beginning of a retreat, you should sit one hour and walk one hour, more or Inner Victory continued from page 52