A multi-billion-dollar market is being created around the growing interest in meditation and Mindfulness. With so many meditation traditions just a mouse click away, it is difficult not to become distracted and miss its basic simplicity.
Before my 25-year career in tech, I spent several years as a monk. I filled my cell with books on meditation and various spiritual traditions. One day I was explaining my ideas to an old monk. After I finished, he said,
“Be careful you don’t become a crow.” “A crow? I don’t understand,” I replied. He answered:
“Crows collect shiny objects and put them in their nest. But when they sit in their cluttered nest at night, they are uncomfortable. The next morning however, they gather more shiny objects for their nest. But they are still uncomfortable.” The old monk paused and looking at me said: “Just sit in your nest. Everything else follows.”
This simple advice did not stop my endless curiosity and reading. Then, in one of our weekly meetings, the Abbott of the monastery told me to return all my books to the library and just sit (meditate) in my empty cell when I wasn’t eating, working, or taking part in monastic services. Just sit. Period. No expectations. It took quite some time sitting in silence to realize ideas like inner peace, oneness, emptiness… can be huge obstacles in meditation. It is like trying to see clearly by rubbing mud into your eyes. Nothing shiny is needed. Just sit.