“Whenever I talk about meditation to my students, I always stress the necessity to practice it with resolute discipline and one-pointed devotion; at the same time, I always tell them how important it is to do it in as inspired and as richly creative a way as possible. In one sense meditation is an art, and you should bring to it an artist’s delight and fertility of invention. Become as resourceful in inspiring yourself to enter your own peace as you are at being neurotic and competitive in the world.
There are many ways of making the approach to meditation as joyful as possible. You can find the music that most exalts you and use it to open your heart and mind. You can collect pieces of poetry, or quotations or lines of teachings that over the years have moved you, and keep them always at hand to elevate your spirit. I have always loved Tibetan thangka paintings and derive strength from their beauty. You too can find reproductions of paintings that arouse a sense of sacredness, and hang them on the walls of your room.
Listen to a cassette tape of a teaching by a great master, or a sacred chant. You can make of the place where you meditate a simple paradise, with one flower, one stick of incense, one candle, one photograph of an enlightened master like Jesus Christ, Buddha or Krishna. You can transform the most ordinary of rooms into an intimate sacred space, an environment where every day you go to meet with your true self with all the joy and happy ceremony of one old friend greeting another.”
Reading this excerpt today reminded me to inspire myself more in my own practice, and it to gave me the idea to share some inspirational resources that I have found over the years here on this blog. As you may have noticed it took me a few days to post this!
I find it amazing how much music and art is available on the internet. A lot of inspirational videos of sacred chants can be found on www.youtube.com.One of my favorites is a Sanscrit chant of the Heart Sutra by Imee Ooi. (click on show more to display the lyrics) The Heart Sutra is one of the most famous Buddhist Sutras and beautifully encapsulates the profound wisdom of the Buddhist teachings.
If you find a particular Buddhist image or Buddha inspiring, using google image search can yield amazing results. To find large size images, which you can actually print out, select to display large photos only
One of my favorite websites for high resolution images of Buddhist art is: www.himalayanart.org It has a truly amazing collection.
I plan to share more chants and images in my next postings. What inspires you? I invite you to make a comment and share it with us!
Image credits: Image credits: Astasähasrikä Prajñäpäramitä (Illuminated manuscript) via AsianArt.com.
Note: I added an extra paragraph from the section on Inspiration in chapter 5 of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying to the Rigpa Glimpse of the Day email.