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  • Guoying Stacy Zhang

Meditation Over a Kitten: Transcendence from Where We Are

When we talk about Buddhist practices, we think of seated meditation, reciting mantras, prostrating in front of Buddha statues, or pilgrimages. These all require deliberate efforts to get away from the quotidian and are why many find spiritual practices elusive and disconnected from the lives we are living. However, this does not have to be the case. In fact, we can still transcend ourselves while staying where we are at the moment.

Someone once asked Venerable Miaojiang at Mount Wutai: “Do you practice seated meditation every evening?” The master responded: “One can meditate not only while seated, but also while sleeping. If you enjoy a good night’s sleep with calm and ease, or dream about the red Sun, glowing Moon, bright stars, white clouds, clear waters, that is also meditation.” Such a response was not meant to prescribe another type of meditation, rather it illuminates that the truth of meditation is not confined to any specific time of day or body posture, but can be accessed and integrated into daily life. In fact, all Buddhist practices are intended to lead us from chaos to stillness, from worries to calmness, from darkness to brightness, and from ignorance to wisdom.

Chaton playing with her favorite toy. Image courtesy of the author

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