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  • Lama Jigme Gyatso

Love of Silence



The merciless sun beat down upon the solitary retreat center. To the teacher’s delight an anemic breeze drifted in through the cinderblock window. It played lackadaisically upon the loose blade of a defunct fan. And as the fan, that had clearly seen better days, began to turn in the feeble breeze, its rusted shaft turned noisily upon its workings.


The American students, as if in baroque counter point, began to complain, and whine, and kvetch (for truly that is the song of my people). “That noise,” they lamented, “is ruining our meditation!”


What were they expecting, for their teacher to beg, and scrape, and grovel apologizes like a minor Dickensian character? How surprised (and not a little disappointed) were they when Bhante had a good laugh at their expense?


“Why does a wine glass shatter when dropped upon a surface: firm, and hard and unyielding?” He asked. “Because the glass is rigid, and brittle, and liable to cut your hand as you stoop to pick up its shards.” Drop a pillow on the same hardwood floor and it is fine. Why? Because it is flexible.


YOUR meditation is just concentration in disguise and it paves the path of: rigidity, anxiety, controlling tendencies, elitism, competitiveness, and cruelty. Replace your rigid concentration with the mindfulness that delights in noticing: vulnerably, viscerally, passively, and spontaneously.


Offer no resistance as the rusted screech of the fan shaft cuts through your sense organs, and mind. Breath deep into your perceptions: problematic, and uncomfortable. For as you exhale your body will relax, your mind will release, and you . will taste . of peace.


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