The Breath of God

by Rev Susan Kolb
(West Bend WI, United States)

In 1996 I became the director of a retreat center. One of the first classes I took was a mindful meditation class. In the very first session I was deeply struck by the effect it had on my mind. I experienced random seconds of serenity and quiet spaces. Interestingly these minute glimpses of open space seduced me into wanting more. In my overachiever western mind set I began my practice with tail wagging enthusiasm and sat on my zafu each morning for 30 min. In the early days I practiced with a vengeance making sure that no thought entered my mind. I focused all my attention on the words, “breathing in I know, breathing out I know.” I worked very hard at clicking off my brain and giving all my attention to my mantra. Thank goodness I was saved from this treachery by 12 Buddhist monks who came to my retreat center to give Dharma talks and teach meditation. This joyous group of monks filled the center with the energy of peace and play. Their unconditional curiosity and centeredness made it clear that I was not receiving the same benefits from my meditation. Finally one of the monks, Phra David Chutiko looked at me in meditation and remarked, “You must have done a lot of drugs in college.” I spun my attention towards him confused and defensive. His next words changed my life. He said, “Susan meditation is not about clicking off but about clicking on. Meditation is a practice to help you learn to live more mindfully. It is an exercise to train the brain to comprehend what is actually happening in each moment with out blame, shame, or trying to change the reality of it in anyway.” (These may not be his exact words, but this is my understanding of his words.) 15 years later I start each morning sitting on my zafu training my mind for 15 min. watching my breath and watching my mind as it wonders. I spend the rest of my day in meditation practice. Why do I do it? It makes my day go better and it brings me to a place where I can accept each day as the gift it is. It helped me fall in love with my life.

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Wonderful
by: Anonymous

So very deeply moved by the movement of the monk to your aid .. Thank you for sharing your experience ... Xxx

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Switching on,off
by: Paul

I started to mediate and got off on the wrong foot....trying to switch off....I shall try switching on.....thanks

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salient
by: laurel

Meditation is said to be a way by which you can reach a state that will have no bad effects on you, which is more or less like being a state where it is said that you could meet god. Just a belief.

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Inspiring
by: Anonymous

Da Fuq?

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LOL
by: Anonymous

LOVELY

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