Buddhism, Buddhist Practice, Zen, Zen practice


When I was young, I read about meditating in a book.  I decided to try it.  I took pillows off my bed, bent them in half, and sat down.  I folded my legs and settled myself.  I concentrated on my breath coming in and going out, down in the center of my body, below the belly button.  I counted the in-breath, one.  The out-breath, two.  In-breath, three.  Out-breath, four.  Up to ten and then I started again with in-breath, one.  Out-breath, two, up to ten and so on, over and over and over.  When I got lost in thought, I remembered and went back to following my breath and counting.

I continued to sit every now and then, when I thought of it, had the time, or felt really tense and needed relief.   I did it this way for about five years.  Then because I could see and appreciate how much meditating was adding to my life, I made a resolve to sit every day.  Resolve means that I was determined, and I decided on a firm course of action.

Resolve is one of the paramitas, the practices that we work to perfect.  Buddha said we resolve in our practice to gain wisdom, truth, relinquishment, and tranquility.  We perfect our resolve so that we awake up to life in front of us, in the present moment, just as it is.

Our resolve keeps up practicing—meditating, understanding the Four Noble Truths, and following the steps on the Eightfold Path.  Our resolve also establishes, strengthens and deepens our spiritual life.  From our resolve, we practice out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, welfare, and happiness of all beings.


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