Saturday, March 19, 2011

A meditator's diary

I bought this book titled "A meditator's Diary - A western woman's unique experiences in Thailand monasteries" by Jane Hamilton-Merritt several years ago. It is an excellent book that chronicles the experiences of the author in her journey through different meditation experiences from Samatha to Vipassana. She highlighted the struggles she underwent, and wonderful experiences of meditation. I have read and re-read this book countless number of times and never fail to be fascinated by her written words.

As I also slowly progress in my meditation practice, I gain inspiration from books like these. Meditation doesn't come easy for some. My mind is so used to switching from one task to another, condition by the hustle and bustle of my daily life. This context switching by the mind from one task to another is inevitable, and it conditions the mind to be highly "effective" in dealing with switching. However, achieving stillness of mind becomes elusive. Striking a balance is no easy task.

I also realise meditation is not an exercise undertaken sitting down. It is undertaken in every aspect of life. When the mind context switches from one task to another, mindfulness can still be maintained. I know this as a concept. To consciously practice it is another matter that I need to work on. I am sometimes conscious of the need to be mindful and often, not realising that I'm not mindful.

Still, a start is better than not doing anything.

Jane Hamilton-Merritt, if you read this post, I would like to sincerely thank you for writing this book. Thank you.


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