Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Right tool for the job.

I come from a family of craftsmen, men and women who took pride in the skills of their trade and the quality of their work.

Tools are important to the craftsman.  They allow him to do the job right, the first time.  I was always somewhat resistant to the 'right tool for the job' motto.  I would use what was available, what was within reach and figure out how to make it work.  Don't have a hammer, use a Crescent wrench.  Don't have a saw, give me a screwdriver (yes, a screwdriver).  It might take you longer, but you can make it work.

If my father would catch me in these inane acts he would say, "What are you doing?  Get the right tool for the job."

"But, I didn't have a hammer."

"Go get one!"

When I moved to Seattle, my father's going away gift was his old red toolbox, complete with JERRY lettered in blue paint across the top.  The intention was simple- you should be able to fix your own problems.  Use the right tool for the job, and do it right the first time.

I see a lot of people meditating these days, but if you ask them what kind of meditation they are doing they often don't really know.

Meditation is a tool.  What are you using it for?

Do you want to achieve a stable, focused mind?  Are you looking to develop insight and clarity?  Are you simply looking for a respite, a short escape from the turmoil of your daily rigors?  Do you simply want a blissful experience with lots of cool feelings and visions?  

Do you want to develop generosity, love and kindness?  Does your practice embrace a larger scope?  Do you want to actualize your own aims?  The aims of others?  Do you want to achieve the complete and utter awakening of buddhahood?   

There are many different types of meditation.  Each is a tool in your toolbox.  Use the right tool for the job, and do it right the first time.

Maybe my father's message is finally starting to break through. 

No comments:

Post a Comment