Notes

A guided meditation

Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.

Breathing in, we sit quietly together observing our embodied mind. Breathing out, we notice how everything changes and passes away.

Breathing in, we let go of opinions, judgments, boundaries and divisions. Breathing out, we realise the Dharma – the way things are.

Breathing in, we observe how all things are interdependent and interpenetrating. Breathing out, we realise that all entities are empty of self-existence.

Breathing in, we realise that there are no boundaries to Buddha mind. Breathing out, we feel compassion for, and kinship with, all beings.

Breathing in and breathing out. Sitting quietly, without the need to possess or cling, we are mindful of those around us and give thanks for each moment.

Breathing in and breathing out, we sit quietly together realising our Buddha nature.

 

Sengai Meditating Frog

Deep listening and compassionate speaking

In our discussions we give each other time and space to speak freely and to reflect on what has been said. We try not to interrupt but wait until our friends have finished speaking. In our turn we try not to speak for too long. We try to avoid conflict and do not use harsh words or intemperate language. We speak and listen sincerely, respectfully and with compassion – trying to understand what is being said and what lies behind what is said.

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The picture of the meditating frog is by Sengai Gibon(1750 – 1837) who was abbot of the oldest Zen monastery in Japan. Though not a professional artist he was prolific and his ink paintings are often humorous and always deeply-rooted in the teachings of the Rinzai school of Buddhism. The calligraphy reads: “If you can become a Buddha by practising meditation, I should have become one long ago”.