Years ago I remember listening to a chap in a spiritual counselling setting. Gradually we got around to what was really bothering him. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to get to the heart of the matter. I kicked my zafu (meditation cushion) across the room the other day! he confessed. I can’t remember what I actually said in response, I most likely smiled a smile of recognition before drawing out what might be behind this act. Those moments of utter frustration at seemingly not getting anywhere with meditation and Buddhist practice come to most of us in one form or another. Zafu’s are such a tempting item to heft across the room too!
Lurking below the frustration and the desire for progress is an ever-present sincerity of purpose which transcends any particular religious tradition. The rub of it is that what draws people to a particular practice, meditation/compassion/Precepts, is ultimately resistant to rational explanation. The Dharma, the teaching, points out the way others have gone before which we can learn from. Deeper encounters with Dharma, by my way of thinking, sets up a resonance within us with that which brought us to the cushion in the first place. Being around, talking with, sitting with, walking with those who (in Buddhism termed the Sangha) are living the practice can be both encouraging and taken deeper bring one to realize the zafu is without edges.