Essay on Mind Over Matter

1295 Words 6 Pages
Mind over Matter

     Out of the myriad of religions that encompass the earth, one of the least understood is Buddhism. In the pursuit of a higher plane of existence, a
Buddhist monk will renounce his worldly secular life, instead embracing a life of meditation and study. While attempting to achieve enlightenment, and therefore nirvana, a Buddhist must first come to eradicate his sense of self, effectively destroying his ego. By doing this, "durkha," (pain and suffering), end and one can be at peace and harmony with the world and all who reside in it.
A practice that helps monks achieve this enlightened state is meditation. By clearing the mind of mundane clutter and distractions, a monk
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I imagined myself first as earth, then air, striving to feel these elements inside of me. However, friends from the hall soon entered the basement and inquired about what I was doing. This broke my concentration, snapping my mind back into the present. I was unable to achieve that sense of oneness again, as people came down to play Ping-Pong, making the exercise virtually worthless. I had come closer than the first time, yet had a long way to go.
     My third attempt at imitating a Buddhist monk while meditating took place in my room, while my roommates were gone. I sat cross-legged (the lotus position was impossible for me) on the floor and once again concentrated on the air flowing through my body. I found that just like the dryers in the basement,
I was able to concentrate better with classical music on very softly. I guess, for me, the incessant noise of society makes white noise better for concentrating than absolute silence. This time, I quickly sunk into a sense of calm, all my thoughts of school fading away. I imagined myself a monk in the
Chin Shan temple, striving for enlightenment. Just to add another level to the activity (by this time is was fairly boring) I attempted to decipher the Zen
Buddhist koan "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" This proved utterly impossible in the half-hour time period I was meditating, yet it gave me a feel for what a Buddhist monk does and helped focus

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