Competing Ruins It
This insight came when I was trying to break the 2 minute mark. What I had noticed was that I would take the in-breath without even noticing it, and although it was blissful and I benefited from the breathing, I started to get frustrated. I wanted to get to that 2:30 time. I started to focus on the time, pushing myself to get to it. I was directing my energy towards the time, and not being in the moment. I lost the experience, and wasted my energy.
It made me think of a reading from the book the "Zen Mind, Beginners Mind"
“But as long as you think, "I am doing this," or "I have to do this," or "I must attain something special," you are actually not doing anything... when you do not try to do anything special, then you do something. When there is no gaining idea in what you do, then you do something.”
― Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice
This is the problem, when I bring my effort or trying into it, I actually ruin the experience.
So much of this book speaks of this:
“Our effort in our practice should be directed from achievement to non-achievement.”
“If you think you will get something from practicing zazen, already you are involved in impure practice.”
So just practice, without adding anything to it. The addition only weighs down the experience. This is the key to peace and serenity.
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