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Illusion Of The Perfect Buddha

Posted on:May 20, 2021 at 12:13 PM

When I was on silent meditation retreat for the first time I went from 10 minutes per day to 10 hours per day and from sitting in a train car to sitting on a floor with no back support.

The experienced students sit in front, so if you do open your eyes (you’re not supposed to, but everyone does) you see these perfect Buddha postures sitting perfectly still. I became instantly jealous of their refined abilities (and strong backs).

But over time I came to realize I was admiring entirely the wrong attributes and had no reason to be jealous. Yes it takes some skill and practice to sit still, but it’s analogous to admiring a swimmer for how well they wear a life vest while standing in shallow water. Sitting in a quiet dark room with air conditioning is “easy mode”. Show the same calm in everyday life. Show it on the worst days. This is something to be truly admired.

Now, when sitting at home doing my own practice, I no loner look at finding my quiet place and sitting with good posture as a skill to learn or burden. I see it as a relief and a way to make it easier for just a little time. To go back to the shallows to stand and get some rest before diving back into the deep.