354: What Next Buddha?

20130104_122128[1]We are on the final leg of our journey home in the water box. The cook straight crossing is quite notorious for dishing out big seas and high winds. I usually dread the crossing but manage it, unlike my daughter who spends most of it suffering with sea sickness.
As we are bumped and buffeted in our boat I think of how Buddha used the analogy of a boat crossing a river for meditation. The boat represents the tool of meditation and the water is our suffering or what we need to work through to get to the other side. Once we get to the other side we no longer need the boat.
Our journey is three hours and very rough. I try to think of the journey as a type of meditation and go with the rolling of the waves however I have moved into the ‘what’s next?’ phase of my thinking. When will we get back? How will I get through all the washing, what’s for lunch, what’s for dinner? In other words the journey had become the opposite of a meditation and a very good representation of the classic ‘not present’ ever thinking mind.
Usually when we sit for meditation this is what happens.
This leaning forward is a classic way we live our lives. We are not content with this moment but generally gearing ourselves up for something much better that we think is coming around the corner. We use phrases such as ‘when I complete this I’ll be happier’, ‘it will be much better when…’ We use it for our job, our body, and our relationships. The ‘if only’ is a tragic thought pattern which really can’t serve us too well because that ‘if only’ moment actually never arrives. If it did happen to arrive we would have long shifted the goal posts. So we are sitting in a limbo of how things could be better when really all we have is this moment.
Practice for today: What you have is right here with you now. Try to appreciate what you have now without thinking of how it could be better or ‘if only’. Think about this for your relationships, your job, your house, your body.

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