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Lions Roar : May 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2008 54 This is the stone, drenched with rain, that points the way. — S ANTOKA The true traveler has no destination and no fixed time of arrival. —L AOZI BUDDHIST MEDITATION is something to do, not to be- lieve, so the measure of it is always related to what is happening to your mind and your life. It is a practice—something you do over and over again, as in, “I’m practicing the guitar” or “I’m practicing my computer game.” If you practice meditation in this regular way, Buddhism has a mysterious and unpredictable healing power. By mysteri- ous, I mean that while the effect of meditation is more or less as advertised, you are on a journey that does not reveal all its features at once, and even the destination is uncertain. And by unpredictable, I mean that surprise is one of the con- sequences of meditation. You arrive at places you never in- tended to reach and didn’t know existed. The first thing that’s surprising is that meditation changes you, and so after a while you are not the same person who set off. A lot of things happen in the long arc of a meditation prac- tice—it’s a journey, not a plan. I took the mysterious path through Surprises on the Way Meditation JOHN TARRANT Is there a way we can extend and deepen these moments of awakened mind that coexist with our confusion? Or just to notice them when they occur? That’s the point of Buddhist meditation, which is never about doing or creating anything. We simply rest in everything as it is. It sounds so easy, yet nothing is more profound or mysterious. PHOTOS BY ASAKO NARAHASHI FROM HALF AWAKE AND HALF ASLEEP IN THE WATER, NAZRAELI PRESS MAY 54-59.indd 54 MAY 54-59.indd 54 3/6/08 11:30:41 AM 3/6/08 11:30:41 AM