Zoom Meeting Sermon January 15 2023

 

Topic: Core Tenet #3 and Reaching the Zen State

Core Tenet #3 teaches us that our bodies belong exclusively to us, and what we choose to do with our bodies should be under our control. Today we are going to explore how to apply that Core Tenet to our spiritual practice and our preferred method of reaching a higher state of consciousness. There are multiple avenues toward that trance-like state, and they are all considered valid according to Path doctrine. We will be discussing four of these practices: meditation, repetition, exercise, and chemical alchemy.*

Meditation, for our purposes, just means being still and focusing your mind and energy on the rhythm of your breath, while clearing your mind and opening yourself up to messages from the Cosmos. The best part about meditation is that anyone can do it, just about anywhere. It takes no special training or equipment. It can last as long as you want, whether that is five minutes or an hour, and you can choose a meditation posture that works for you. You can meditate as frequently as you feel you need to, and you can choose whether to meditate in silence or to listen to music.

Repetition refers to any repeating action that you can do with your body or hands without really thinking about it. Crocheting is a good example; while you do have to pay some attention to what you are doing, once you get going you can disengage your conscious mind and let it drift. Another great example is the practice of repetitive chanting that is used by some pagan and Hindi traditions. With time and practice, you can train your brain to connect with the Collective Cosmic Consciousness any time you are engaged in such an activity.

Exercise has long been used as a meditative practice; “runner’s high” is not a myth. The body releases endorphins when you engage in vigorous physical activity, and the body high that results can open your mind to the Cosmos. It does not have to be running; any aerobic exercise will eventually have the same effect. As with most things, this takes Mindfulness, as you have to deliberately focus your intent upon reaching the Zen state and making the most of the experience.

Chemical alchemy refers to the use of various psychoactive substances to induce or enhance the Zem state. Apart from Cannabis, there are some street drugs that can be used spiritually, including cocaine, LSD, mushrooms, DMT, and opiates. The Path does not condemn any of these chemicals, neither does it specifically endorse their use. Different people react to different drugs in different ways, and it is up to you to decide what route you want to take towards Enlightenment, even if you choose the Hunter S. Thompson method. The only street drug that does too much harm to be a benevolent meditation aid is crystal meth. Just about anything else, when used Mindfully, with Self-Control, can have spiritual value.  

Apart from benevolence, a key component of following the Path involves minding our own business and refraining from passing judgment on others. This Core Tenet reminds us that just as our bodies belong to us, the bodies of others belong to them, and what they choose to do with their bodies is none of our concern. Another important thing to remember is that what works for you may not work for someone else. Sometimes, when you find something that really gets you there, you want to share it with everyone you know. Exercise enthusiasts do this a lot, but it is important to be respectful and let others choose their own Path.

Is there anything you do that gets you into that Zen state that you would like to share?

*Edited to add: Some cultures utilize ritualized pain to induce an endorphin rush similar to that of the runner’s high. Look up sacred tattooing.


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