Hey all, I have a confession to make. I’m a Buddhist and I suck at meditation. I’ve put a lot more effort into (wide-ranging) study than I have into meditation. The study has definitely paid off. I see the humanity in jerks I’d otherwise hate, I see how people and things can change, I see how attachment produces suffering (but also sometimes happiness too), I see how only a few pieces of knowledge can bring a lot of peace, I’ve hugely benefited from mudita, and (in a few cases) I’ve meditated for a little while to a point where I felt generally very peaceful. It’s also just interesting to study the suttas and the abhidhamma, I find.
But… today, for instance, I went to a Zen center to try to work on my meditation. I’ve been treating it like a Buddhist gym. Go there, build up “mind muscle”, come out more “mind muscly”. Or something. I was going to do a 30 minute zazen… but I chickened out. Ended up staring at their koi pond for a while. Just being “stuck” for 30 minutes there was freaking me out for whatever reason.
This is rambling, but hopefully it’s useful rambling. Have any of you built up a meditation practice, despite some obstacles? How did you do it? To be clear, I’m a Theravadin, visiting a center of another tradition to pick up some pointers and practice. I’ve learned about the Mahasi tradition and I’ve read a Fronsdal book which seemed great… just have to put it into practice.
Edit: This is not an anti-Zen post in any way. I was welcomed and given proper instruction when I went there for the first time. Essentially everyone was friendly and supportive. It’s a great place to practice Zen; I’m just not sure the 1.5-hour sessions are for me at this time.