AG: [following a silent meditation]… almost three minutes. Thank you for your patience. So that form of sitting, in Sanskrit, is called samatha– S-A-M-A-T-H-A, quietening the mind, and with some practice it leads to what is called vipassana– V-I-P-A-S-S-A-N-A, clear-seeing, that is to say when the mind is quiet, naturally you, perhaps hearing will be a little more acute since you’re not busy thinking, or perhaps it would be more clear-seeing of your own thoughts as they rise, flower, and dissolve. So one very interesting writing exercise is to see if you can remember three different thoughts that passed through your mind while you were thus sitting (if you want to try writing it down) . It shouldn’t take (long), (maybe) a couple of minutes. This is a writing workshop , which.. You’ll notice we will be writing also as well as conversing. (If you don’t take part in the writing it won’t be as much fun).
So…have you got something written down? It may be too much for everybody, one-by-one, to do this aloud, so maybe you can pair off to your neighbor? (if you’re.. unless what your thought was was much too private – but if it will withstand social scrutiny, in the sense that it’s not.. it’s not something you prefer not to reveal, why don’t you exchange with your neighbors,sort of.. find someone to connect with and just read it to each other).
ok so I should add as a footnote to anybody who’s curious further on this question of sitting practice and meditation, there are two very good reference books. One is by Shunryu Suzuki – S-H-U-N-R-Y-U, Shunryo – Suzuki – S-U-Z-U-K-I called Beginner’s Mind, Zen Mind (Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind) (since this form of sitting is a close parallel to Zen). It’s just a handbook, a brief handbook, what to do when your nose itches, what kind of posture, what happens when your feet get sleepy. The publisher’s Weatherhill Press, I think. [now available from Shambhala] – Shunryu Suzuki – called Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
(And then another book) . And then a second recommendation bibliographically, Meditation in Action is the title, Meditation in Action, by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (his name is written in the second, no, the first, slogan (and several others here). Meditation in Action, Shambhala Press, Boston. So those books, both are in print.
These are just simple straightforward handbooks on sitting practice of meditation, one from Tibetan style, the other from Japanese point-of-view.