From the BlogMeet Ron


Honolulu folks –> Join us for meditation tonight Thursday 9/15/16, at our place, 3241 Alani Drive, in Manoa, at the usual time: 6 to 7:30 PM. If you have a meditation cushion please bring; if not, no worries. The front door opens at 5:50.
Dear friends,


We meditate for lots of reasons: stress relief, maybe lower our blood pressure, feel less anxious, or just to feel better, physically and maybe existentially. 
But I think under all these is a deeper one, which the Buddha made the central message of his teaching: to be free from suffering in all its presentations.

Mindfulness allows us to test the Buddha’s core hypothesis – that suffering in all its presentations arises from grasping, from holding on, as well as to pushing away, any experience.

Especially grasping at and honoring “me” and “mine.”

A certain presidential candidate was noted to have remarked shortly after the 9/11 tragedy, the 15th anniversary of which we recently celebrated, that “Now my building is the tallest in the city.”

Grasping at me and mine.

One teacher suggested I go through the activities of my day and see all the things which promote grasping and which lessen grasping. 
And make whatever lessens grasping my practice. It’s not just about meditation.

One very powerful and simple meditation instruction I received was just one line. 

Let things be just as they are.

Grasping, holding on, and pushing away are all ways we attempt to manipulate and control our inner and outer life experiences. If you take the Buddha’s word on this, as we lessen grasping, so too we amplify happiness, love, and compassion.

To let things be just as they are in meditation = to we see where and how we may cringe and cave around this very simple instruction.

Just allowing ourselves to experience everything just how they are, not how we want them to be.

As we actually practice this we see how this is the hardest thing to do because what we are actually doing is trying to manipulate or control our experiences, usually in the service of feeling better.

Mindfulness can be used as a mechanism of control and manipulation usually based on some notion we have of what meditation should be or do for us. For example, trying to quiet or mind involves some element of control or manipulation.

It’s not that quieting our mind is wrong or un-Buddhist or whatever, it’s just the way we go about it.

Or trying to get to a place where we won’t feel anxious, or ashamed or angry at ourselves anymore.

This has been called “spiritual by-passing” — trying to do an end run on what’s actually in front of us. It just doesn’t work.

This is just about allowing whatever comes up in the mind to be there. And then watch our mind’s efforts at control and manipulation creep in.

I think a lot of this resistance to let things be just as they are in meditation stems from some sort of fear that if we actually do this, then our meditation will devolve and our minds will be experienced as some untamable beast.

A Zen teacher I studied with back in L.A. in the 1980’s would tell his students 

“You have so little trust in your basic nature!”

Yes, so little trust.

So if trying to control our minds feel like trying to heard feisty cats, yes … But if you give cats a big enough space to play in they will each settle down in their own little niche and learn how to live together.

If we trust ourselves.

If we stop the efforts at control, it may seem kind of crazy at first, but it will settle down, just like the cats.

I get it. Sometimes we may feel that our “normal” sense of our self is slipping away when we do this —and yes! – That’s because our normal sense of ourselves is often based on control.

Just trust this simple process. 
By and by, you will experience depth and beauty far beyond anything the mind has ever experienced before.
Tom, Katina, Kupaianaha … and Uilalani  
Ron Richey
3856A Claudine St.
Honolulu, Hi 96816

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