“We need to talk about a balance. Frankly, I think Asian monastics probably spend too much time sitting in meditation looking inward, and not enough time outdoors. They have to go out, as Shakyamuni did, and find out how people are living in society. But in the West, it’s the opposite problem. People spend all their time in the outer world. They’ve been successful in business, in their professional lives, but they have no relief from the stress of their lives. They need to sit down and settle the body and mind, instead of always running around feeling agitated inside.”
– Samu Sunim
“Buddha in the Market: An Interview with Korean Zen Master Samu Sunim”
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection
As usual, we are in sync, Doug. I just spent the past couple hours editing an old picture of me in bliss. After uploading it as my profile pic on fb I find this post.
Paramahansa Yogananda tells a story of a young yogi determined to know God. His ardent practice soon yeilded his goal and he spent the next 20 years in a cave communing directly with God in total bliss. One day he found himself meditating on his home town. As hard as he tried he could not shake his desire to return home and see what had happened since he left. He made the journey to the street where he had grown up. While he was enjoying seeing the old sights, a passerby jostled him accidently. The yogi wheeled on him in a fury and beat him mercilessly with his staff.
One involved solely in the material world is useless because he is only concerned with his own success, and has no sense of his place in the universe. The yogi who only meditates on God is useless because his wisdom helps no one, and he has no way of coping with the material word. There needs to be a balance.
From one of my songs,
“Sip o’ coffee, fresh morning air, my life is grand.
I’ll take whatever comes my way, but I know what I planned.
Do a little thinkin’, then sit quiet for a while.
Make a little wish, eyes wide open like a child.”