December 30, 2012
In 2013, I committed to sit every day in 2014, and have done so ever since. I aim for a minimum of 30 minutes, and allow for 15 minutes on days that are super jam packed (I own a landscaping company)... and yet, even that is a an excuse. I find that 30 minutes is a bare minimum to sustain the ability to integrate meditative mind in to the activities of daily life, and am starting to stretch in to 45 minute sits, or sitting twice a day for 15 and 30 minutes each.
Like all of us, the initial drive was to get free from the noise in my mind, "find peace" and truly wake up. Sufficiently out of the brambles, I simply want to lead a life that serves Earth and people with as much clarity and quality as I possibly can, and to support people establishing and sustaining an authentic meditation practice.
Many and not enough. As Junpo says, "The first one hundred retreats are the most interesting." I highly recommend a minimum of one per year as a #1 life priority. The years that I could attend three retreats were among the best years of my life.
I've attended 25 Hollow Bones week-long retreats since May 2002, and ordained as a priest in 2011. I train with founder Junpo Denis Kelly and his dharma heir, Doshin MJ Nelson. I practice Ashtanga yoga as well.
I appreciate everyone coming today, and for the opportunity to share this practice that has so beautifully transformed my life. I make no pretenses about how "awake" I am or not, as my monkey mind chatters while practicing zazen, and I am grateful for the chance to collectively support one another in remembering and living from the Pure Awareness inherent in us all. I look forward to sitting with you again. Wishing everyone strong and clear practice, Paco