The Vow

I meditated for about 15 minutes on Monday morning, and for 20 minutes this morning. My legs are quite stiff from my workouts yesterday so it was a bit tough to get into my meditation posture (I sit in what they call "Burmese"), but once I got settled on my cushions it wasn't too bad. I hope some of you are considering joining the Big Sit. It's a very small chunk out of your day, but I guarantee that you will see a change in your mental state if you give it an honest try. I have gotten out of the habit of meditating many times, and every time I return to it I am amazed by the clarity and peace it gives me.

The staff at Tricycle are trying to make the Big Sit as much like a monastic experience as they can. They have weekly Dharma talks online, numerous Zen teachers available that you can ask questions of, and they have even created a generic set of vows that you can customize to suit your situation, level of experience, and goals.

click pic to enlarge

I took some time yesterday to make a set of my own vows for the Big Sit. A lot of Americans see vows as limitations, or rules that you can't break. A better way to look at it would be to see vows as the structure of your life. If you take a vow, for instance, to stop smoking, then that vow is a pillar that you can lean on when you really want a cigarette. It supports you, and provides a backbone for you when yours might turn to jelly. Buddhist or otherwise, everyone should have a set of vows like this to rely on.

I will restore my body by getting to bed no later than 12:00 every night.
I will nourish my body by following the Warrior Diet.
I will honor my body by listening to it and responding more appropriately to minor injuries.

I will work with my mind by meditating daily for 20 minutes.
I will study the Genjokoan by listening to the Dharma talks online, and comparing different translations.

I will renew my spirit by joining the discussion on the Tricycle Forums (being around others who share my world view).
I will strengthen my spirit by sharing this with others.

Make a set for yourself. They don't have to be patterned after these - feel free to create vows that are relevant and important to you. You can also post them here in comments if you wish...


Raksha said...

That's awesome that your meditation is going so well! I hope you can find some other people who are interested in joining you.

Remember those three books you lent me waaaay back, the last time I came to see you? Yeah, I'm reading them now because I'm going to send them back to you with your ChristmaHannuKwaanzaRohatsuYule/Lupercalia/Birthday stuff. I'm really glad it works for you, but more and more I'm convinced that I've found the right religious path for me. I am Pagan to the core, yo. Transcendental-type religions hold absolutely zero appeal for me and I would rather hang from the World Tree twice a week and give up both my eyes than meditate on a regular basis. I guess there really is no such thing as "one size fits all."

Kate said...

I'm not Buddist, but I've decided to give this a try.

So far, I missed Monday, having not yet decided to do it. Tuesday was crazy and I managed 6-7 mins before my feet fell asleep on me.

This is a very nice way to relax and unwind, and also to focus on aspects of myself I too easily overlook.

Marougal said...

I really like this idea. Since I get up at 5:15 every morning I think I might try meditating for a little bit each day. It just might help with my stress levels.

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