Time and again our ego gets us into trouble – and even more so when we are trying to meditate!
I am reading a book entitled Zen Dust by Antony Osler, a South African who runs a farm in the Bush, together with a meditation hall where he and his wife lead courses in Zen meditation. He tells the story of his friend Godwin who describes himself as ‘a third class meditator’.
This came about from a time when he was travelling First Class on a train in Sri Lanka but missed his station and so had to get off at the next one and travel back in Third Class. He was standing in the carriage complaining to himself when he realised that he was the only person there who was unhappy. And the reason he was unhappy was because he was still travelling First Class in his mind. The people around him in the carriage were enjoying the noisy chaos of their lives and it made him laugh. That was when he decided to accept being Third Class and he had no more suffering.
Meditation is the same, he said. ‘Don’t expect things to be perfect. Enjoy going Third Class!’