John Suler's Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors
A student went to his meditation teacher and said, "My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, or my legs ache, or I'm constantly falling asleep. It's just horrible!"
"It will pass," the teacher said matter-of-factly.
A week later, the student came back to his teacher. "My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so alive! It's just wonderful!'
"It will pass," the teacher replied matter-of-factly.
People's reactions to this story:
"It is true that the only constant in life is change."
"Everyones life including their spiritual life has its ups and downs but they pass. All one can hope for when the spiritual is in a down is to keep it where it is until one can progress further."
"The teacher knows that life has its own cycles. There are good days and bad days."
"This reminds me of Matthew 6:27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life. "
"At times we feel bad and at times we feel good, that is life whether you are meditating or not."
"It seems this story is suggesting to not get caught up in the "good and bad" or any of the dualities of life because it is all temporary."
"How true of Meditation"
"i did have a reaction to this story ... by now it's passed"
"Life is not static, change occurs all the time"
" Time is mighty force that wipes everything out."
"Even the stone at the river's edge experiences inevitable change, the warmth from the sun, the coolness of the snow, the erosion of the water. Nothing remains constant and we must always be prepared to adapt to the current conditions. "
"Being alive (Life) has its ups and downs, good days and bad, rain and sun, illness and health, laughter and tears. Nothing bad will last forever. Nothing good will last forever either."
"Whatever it is that we're looking for - Truth, Enlightenment, Nirvana, the Kingdom of God, Wisdom, etc. - I think it goes far beyond just pleasure and pain. I read another Buddhist story awhile ago that went something like this: A student asked his Master how he could meditate without being distracted by heat or cold. The Master replied, "When it is hot, you burn to death. When it is cold, you freeze to death." Pleasure and pain are both important in their way, but they're about us, and our human sensations, not about Truth. Then again, they're probably a big part of the puzzle and I just don't know what I'm talking about..."
"Meditation isn't supposed to be about you and your feelings."
"The mind initially experiences various moods during meditation...during true meditation there exists only bliss."
"In the language of the Buddha (Pali): 'Anicca, anicca, anicca.' 'Change, change, change.' At every moment there is change, there is nothing permanent, there is Nothing to hold onto. No wonder in Zen that awareness is so key! Who knows what change will bring?"
"Ecstasy will become ordinary and the ordinary will become extraordinary."
"Everything is transitory! Depression and jubilation are the hills and valleys along our path - one inevitably follows another. The only constant in life is change."
"This story demonstrates the impermanence of ALL things. Do not become attached to your bad feelings or to your good feelings for that matter. They are both equal in the fact they will both come to an end. Just experience things."
"Do not think, Do not not think, Do not!"
"I believe that if you think of something too much (how the meditation feels), you are changing the intent of the meditation, and it will no longer be natural."
"The zen master was trying to tell the student that meditation isn't about good or bad. It's not about emotion. It's about clarity"
"The eternal motion of Yin/Yang! Polarities seek their opposites. A hot cup of coffee becomes cold if left to itself and a cold glass of water becomes warm. There are fools who think that since they are going through a good or bad phase in life that it'll stay that way! Everything that a person studies about the life can be summed up in three words, "Life goes on." It will pass!"
"Life is a process, not a conclusion."
"Your road through life may is filled with an assortment of ruts and rocks, but it also has pleasant stretches of pavement. If you are currently in a rut, don't worry and be strong , it will pass', if your riding the pavement, however, beware it to will pass."
"Everything pass. Buddha-Sidharta is a river. (H.Hesse). The story is the true point of Buddhism.
"The only way to have a true understanding of the way we feel is to have an understanding that our emotional responses occur in a bigger picture. If we don't look at the big picture we let our momentary successes and failures seesaw our emotional states up and down...."
"It is trying to say that the mind wanders. You lose commitment top things and every other day, something more interesting captures your mind."
"Always a good thing to remember. Nothing is permanent. Enjoy."
"My reaction: Time heals all. If you can't concentrate it's because your worried about something and not happy with yourself. Keep Smiling"