The Koan of Your Life
MONTH 2: Perfection of Meditation / Stabilization
ON the Cushion: Use the same meditation. Now, you’ll focus more on turning towards whatever comes up. Keep on noting and being with what’s “in front” of you.
OFF the Cushion:
Make sure you’ve read the “Philosophical Meditation” part of the Wright book (pp. 196-201)
Interview a family member around 1 - 2 themes of your koan. The intention with interviewing them is to see how much of WHAT or HOW you’ve arrived at said theme(s) may have been formulated by family and/or generational dynamics of coping. —- Here are the questions from Soma Rebukes Mara with added reflections:
What do you say to the voice that tells you, “You aren’t ready yet?”
Whose voice is it? How much of the way you’ve dealt with this “koan of your life” is truly “yours”? How much (or what part[s]) of it was influenced and/or shaped by familiar or generational patterns (of coping)?
What exactly are you “readying” for?? —- And, again, how much or what part(s) of it is “yours”?
What happens to delusion when it’s recognized?
How is it “empty” in the sense that it’s from causes and conditions? —- Talking with a family member is to try to bring “open inquiry and “critical questioning” to your sense of how this/these patterns of yours arose.
By Tuesday, 12/4: Please send me a write-up of your koan and the questions you’re going to ask your family member.
Find (or frame your current) a body practice (eg: yoga, movement, walking, qigong, etc.) which supports the-koan-of-your-life practice.
The intention of this exercise is to support awareness of being in your body more.
What comes up — or, how does your awareness change or becomes more clear — when your koan is “dropped-in” (or is incorporated with the body practice)?
MONTH 1: Perfection of Values / Safety
Please do this meditation for this month. (listen 1-2 times at minimum). Bringing awareness to patterns is always useful towards WHAT and HOW you are with your experiences now. Being with and knowing what’s “up” now is needed to condition how you want to be.
Take the 3 questions at the end of Anoja Seeks the Self koan and apply to one of your target issue. (To the target issue you most want to bring attention to during this course.)
What do you seek, truly? (— with or oppression target)
What did you lose? What felt like it was taken from you?
Which value(s) or PRECEPT(s) apply most with your target issue?
What are you willing to renounce for it?
What is no longer needed now? What’s more important now? —- And, therefore, can or needs to be let go (relinquish, eased, cared-for)?
Is it necessary to leave “your home” in order to find what is within you?
What patterns are familiar yet no longer needed? What feels like it “worked” or “helped” before yet is no longer useful or in-service of how you want to be now?
What aspect(s) of your target issue have been “the koan of your life”? — What themes keeps on surfacing; arising; presenting itself/themselves; maybe, even, insisting? Could be in terms of topic, people, energies, etc.
For WEB-MEETING on Wednesday, 11/14:
You & your kalyannamitra will together present each person’s reflection, or discoveries, from the above to the rest of us; including a KOAN if possible.
BOTH person presents some aspect of the other person’s stories/koans. —10 minutes for each person. (Yes, 20 minutes for each pair)
HOW you 2 want to do it is up to you. — ie: FORMAT is co-determined; break up the 10 minutes how you want.
HIGHLY ENCOURAGED: An in-person meeting with your kalyannamitra BEFORE web-meeting. Get to know each other thru the exploration of the stories of your life, including the one(s) that have become ”the koan(s) of your life”. — (1 is enough…And, if there’s really 2-3, ok.)