So here’s something a little different. Yogetsu Akasaka is a 37 year old Zen Buddhist monk who has been causing a stir by making music to meditate to on YouTube.
Only rather than using whale sounds and rainsticks, Yogetsu uses a microphone, a sampler, and a single instrument; his voice.
I always had a love for music and wanted to continue my passion even after becoming a monk. Which is why I had decided to take on beatboxing again…I am honoured to be able to combine my passion with my religious beliefs, and that this has impacted people around the world.
Speaking of Buddhism, here’s a really fascinating “compare and contrast” between buddhism and stoicism from Non Zero and Massimo Pigliucci. I had no idea there was so much overlap between the two:
…for Stoics, suffering and unhappiness are derived from the fact that we have fundamental misconceptions about the nature of reality, and in particular, we do not take seriously the so-called “dichotomy of control,” which is that some things are, you know, up to us, and other things are not up to us, and that we should focus our efforts on the things that actually are under our control.
And “under our control,” turns out, is only our behavior, our values, and our judgments–everything else is outside, and you should treat it as “an indifferent”, indifferent to your ability to live a good life, a life that is worth living.
"Meditation isn’t an escape from life. It’s an encounter with it."
A deep dive into who buddha was, what he taught, and many of the misconceptions that surround hum. An excellent resources for beginners as well as those looking to learn a little more about the history of Buddhism.
Buddha is not a name, but a title. It is a Sanskrit word that means “a person who is awake.” What a buddha is awake to is the true nature of reality.
If we’re really being mindful as we are hearing the bell, we see that for however long the sound lasts—maybe 15 seconds, or 20 seconds, or 30 seconds—within that time, there is constant change going on. It’s nuances of sound: vibration, intensity, pitch. So many different things are happening within what we would call “the sound of a bell.” So we’re really seeing the changing nature on a much more refined level.
And the same thing happens with the familiar meditation object…the breath. Normally we go, “Oh, take an in-breath, take an out-breath”—as if each of them is a single unit. But when we’re really being mindful, we see that even within an in-breath, there are hundreds of sensations that are happening. And the quieter we get, we tune in, we refine our perception.
It’s something I call NPMs, Noticings Per Minute. In the beginning, our NPMs are pretty low, maybe 10 or 20. But as we cultivate awareness and mindfulness, the NPMs go way up and we see within a breath, or within a step, so many different changing sensations happening
And we also see the changing nature in our minds, the rapidity of thoughts arising and passing.
Well worth a read. It’s not often that something like attention is described in such a precise yet relatable way.