Advertisement

Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Dress Well or Go Home

A recent piece in the New York Times “The New Mantra: Replacing ‘Om’ With ‘Glam'” caught the attention of Tricylcle blogger, Emma Varvaloucas. She screamed “noooooooooooooooo.”

Advertisement

In my book, Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness, I quoted Thoreau who said, “Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” This captures it. There is nothing wrong with fine threads but they won’t do the work of meditation for you.

The fancy clothes can contribute to identifying as a meditator and that will be a pitfall. There are many trappings that can become pitfalls–identifying with any of the “things” associated with meditation practice can be a detriment to practice. This includes statues of the Buddha, incense, zafus and zabutons, and brand names like “XYZ Zen Center” and “ABC Tibetan Buddhist Practice Center.”

Advertisement

Anything we can do can be done materialistically–including the spiritual practice of meditation. Just read Chogyam Trungpa’s Spiritual Materialism for the definitive statement on this issue. Materialism breeds attachement. But wait a second, so does anti-materialism. So, watch out, attachment can get you from both sides.

There is nothing wrong with having nice things as long as we are not fixated on those things, get distracted by them, or invest them with power that they don’t have.

After reading this story, I got dressed for the meditation retreat I was about to lead at my Studio. I decided to wear my oldest, most ripped jeans. I don’t really think that my attire made a difference in my meditation. Yet, some of the other material in the Studio did help. The cushions and and the space provided the container where people could gather and place themselves and look within. The bell marked the transitions between sitting and walking so that we could remain in silence. Three bells signaled the end of our mini-retreat.

The Studio is a lovely place and while it doesn’t do the work for us, it is a nice place to do the work (or play) of meditation. One of us eschewed clothes altogether.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment lee

    A precious reminder of bareness, that-which-is.

Previous Posts

Happy Birthday to His Holiness the Dalai Lama
July 6 will be the 80th birthday of His Holiness (HH) the Dalai Lama. I first encountered the Dalai Lama when he would have been ...

posted 2:06:43pm Jun. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Introverts and Extroverts at the Neuronal Level
Those of you who are familiar with my work know that I have a thing for metaphors. Those of you who have been to my workshops know that I have a thing for the brain. I have been delighted to read Giorgio Ascoli's book, Trees of the Brain, Roots ...

posted 12:11:28pm Jun. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Set Aside Greed and Distress with Reference to the World
The Buddha encouraged his monks to be "ardent, alert, & mindful" and to put "aside greed and distress in reference to the ...

posted 2:29:24pm Jun. 14, 2015 | read full post »

Tame Your Sabotaging Self-Talk Part 2
The second part of my interview with Self-Promotion for Introverts author, Nancy Ancowitz, is now available on her Psychology Today blog or ...

posted 7:34:40am Jun. 08, 2015 | read full post »

Laughter and Awakening
A recent column in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review discussed laughter. It was written by Bodhipaksa and debunks the quote that is attributed to the ...

posted 7:29:06am Jun. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.