Too Much – July 10, 2013 Meditation

It is easy to understand that our lives are frequently filled to overflowing with activities and responsibilities, commitments to meet and obligations to fulfill. If we had only abundance to use as a measurement for happiness, we would all be the happiest people on earth; or not.

Since abundance is not the determiner of being happy, it might be useful then to look at how abundance affects our lives. I can’t make the examination for you so I won’t even begin to call out things to jettison. I would imagine that you have read or heard at least one suggestion on how to simplify your life, and you may have even tried doing that. It would be somewhat self-righteous of me to presume to have all the answers, or to even use myself as an example.

What I am pondering this morning is how that cycle of seeking for more, acquiring things, accepting obligations to do, agreeing to be responsible for, may have also crept into our spiritual practice.

As we examine our lives, do we also include our spiritual lives in that examination? Are we as rigorous in seeking to simplify our spiritual practice, looking for areas where we may have ‘complexified’ our spirituality. It may be manifest in developing a compulsory attitude to practice, letting the joy slowly seep away to be replaced with a sense of obligation. It might be a sense of ‘not quite enough’ as if somehow we are just a few minutes shy of having spent the ‘right’ amount of time.

Or, how much of our daily need to be doing has crept into and replaced our spiritual way of being?

Perhaps if you find your practice less fulfilling you might find the solution to be less and not more.

About Ryusho 龍昇

Nichiren Shu Buddhist priest. My home temple is Myosho-ji, Wonderful Voice Temple, in Charlotte, NC. You may visit the temple’s web page by going to http://www.myoshoji.org. I am also training at Carolinas Medical Center as a Chaplain intern. It is my hope that I eventually become a Board Certified Chaplain. Currently I am also taking healing touch classes leading to become a certified Healing Touch Practitioner. I do volunteer work with the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (you may learn more about them by following the link) caring for individuals who are HIV+ or who have AIDS/SIDA.
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6 Responses to Too Much – July 10, 2013 Meditation

  1. krisquigley says:

    I feel that my silent meditation or chanting is never enough and that urges build up inside me to get up and do ‘other’ things. However, this is somewhat less noticeable than when I first began to meditate. I often find that I have to finish my meditation ‘early’ in order to clear out the clutter within my life. This might be certain habits that I have formed, i.e. watching TV shows which serve no purpose other than to ‘entertain’ myself, giving me nothing to gain at all; to actually clearing out items within my home which I have never used before and therefore gather dust and clutter the place. I usually try to find them another home by giving them to others who may need them or selling them to raise money for charity.

    I feel that I have still to find the equilibrium within my life of material things and commitments. I believe that once I find this equilibrium I will be able to sit and chanter for longer periods without getting fidgety. In fact, I will be going on a personal retreat this weekend into the mountains in order to remove such distractions from my environment and to further understand the world around me.

    I am still in search of a nichiren-shu sangha. I wonder if one is available online which you may be able to point me in the direction of?

    Best Regards,

    Kris.

  2. Kris,

    There is a Nichiren Shu temple in or near or close to London, not sure how you folks there would refer to it’s geographical location. I don’t know where in the UK you are from, I am just guessing from your email address. The time difference may be too great, but you are always welcome to join us for services on Sunday which I stream live. That may not work for you, not sure.

    There really isn’t an ‘on-line’ sangha that I am aware of per say, just on-line offerings by various temples.

    I began a lecture series on the Lotus Sutra tonight which I recorded and will make available for download for a small donation later this week and every week I do a lecture. I had some technical difficulties tonight and only got the first half of the lecture recorded. I’ll re-record the second half tomorrow night and make both files available online.

    Thanks for you comments.

    With Gassho,
    Ryusho

  3. krisquigley says:

    Thank you for the reply Ryusho,

    Actually, I now live in China where there are no such nichiren-shu temples. I plan to visit Singapore or Malaysia to meet with Rev. Kangyo Noda as often as possible.

    I would be very interested in your lectures on the Lotus Sutra. I wonder if it would be possible for you to run a retreat on tricycle.com? I am a supporting member there and read many of the articles and watch the retreats and movies. There is some fantastic information on the site, but not much to do with the lotus sutra or nichiren-shu.

    I have many questions about nichiren-shu, the lotus sutra and Buddhism in general. I understand you are very busy with all the fantastic work you are doing for the community, and I can feel the pressure this might be causing you through your recent blog entries. But if you ever have some time in the future I would love to be able to contact you through another medium such as email, if possible.

    Kris.

  4. Hey there Kris,

    Living in China, that does complicated things a tad bit. I think you have found the closest Nichiren Shu connection to you in Singapore or Malaysia.

    As for a retreat on Tricycle, it might be something I could look into in the future, however right at the moment I couldn’t start any new projects such as that. I had a slight problem with last week’s lecture, the video stopped about 23 minutes into the one hour 15 minute lecture so I need to re-record it. that I will work on this week.

    I will do the best I can to answer your questions, don’t hesitate to ask. The pressure at the hospital will be winding down in a few weeks and then it will be just getting all my materials together to submit for committee by Dec. I don’t have any work lined up in the near future and plan on just resting and catching up on stuff. You are welcome to write to me via email. Look on the blog and find the contact form, that will send me an email and from that I will reply with my email address, which I am sure you can appreciate that I won’t post it here.

    Thanks for reaching out and responding to my blog.

    With Gassho,
    Ruyusho

  5. krisquigley says:

    Hi Ryusho,

    Thank you for your time replying to my comments. It is greatly appreciated. I would like to wish you all the best with your commitments at the hospital.

    Kris

  6. :) Your welcome.

    Ryusho

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