“You are the world expert on your life, your body, and your mind, or at least you are in the best position to become that expert if you observe carefully. Part of the adventure of meditation is to use yourself as a laboratory to find out who you are and what you are capable of doing.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living
Practices of wisdom, contemplation, and ethics comprise the path of awakening within all Buddhist lineages. Meditation is just one of many techniques designed to cultivate concentration and insight, and alleviate the suffering caused by clinging and ignorance.
Zen teachings emphasize great doubt, great faith, and great courage; the foundational Buddhist texts indicate that the Buddha’s enlightenment was the result of great renunication, great realization, and great brave mind. But how can we be courageous and brave in the face of our personal suffering, the suffering of those close to us, and the unrelenting suffering throughout the planet? What does courage even mean in a tradition based on mindfulness and compassion?