Thursday, September 24, 2015

Meditation: Just Practicing for the Big Game

Artwork by Ingrid Lill

I've never been a meditator.  Yes, I've tried it here and there but the exercise has never really amounted to anything life altering because I much prefer inquiry for shattering my paradigm, thank you.  With annoying regularity though, this so-called inquiry would decide to show up at around 3am at which time it would keep me up for at least an hour or two.  And that is when I find myself locked into a stare contest with my bedroom ceiling until the idea dawns to start relaxing with a little meditation.  (The ceiling wins every time, by the way)

As you can see, I've got meditation issues.

The biggest realization I've gotten out of a cramped-leg sitting session is that finding the space between thoughts is nearly impossible at first.  This, I know for sure.  Because as soon as I notice that the space is there, it's no longer a space.  Instead, a comment appears and the space is quickly filled with the newly discovered thought.  After a while, this cycle of thought birth and death becomes painful to note.  From what I understand, though, this is kind of the point. What you begin to do is to take a good look at the process rather than paying attention the content. 

It's practice for the Big Game.

And yet, here's what I think makes a session of meditation on Thought a bit more interesting.  Remember my investigation into the nature of Now and how staying in it is a crock?  Well, in this meditation I've noticed that thoughts are always in the past.  What I mean to say is that while I can't catch them midstream, I can just sort of take note that they've happened.  I've never caught a thought in the act, or at least not in the middle of the act.  They're awfully wily that way.  They're never now.

I do have to be honest and report that on one or two occasions, I have indeed noticed the elusive mind state of Nothingness.  This would be cause for celebration if such things weren't frowned upon by the enlightenment police.  To congratulate yourself for noticing Nothing is hypocrisy!  Besides it doesn't lend itself to conversation.

"Hey, what's up?"
"Yeah.  Been working on that for years."

Instant conversation killer.

Ok, back to the exercise.  As you can see, noticing thought ends up being quite a crazy game of hide and seek where the success of achieving the goal is fleeting as well as almost entirely elusive.  It takes some time to just notice what happens with thought because it's much to easy to begin spiraling into it.  It's like a cosmic swirling drain that seduces you right into the vortex. 

I need more time with this.  And that's quite likely the reason it's called practice.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Waking Up: A Zero Sum Game

The idea of living in a constant state of enlightened bliss is usually trumped by my habit of swimming the murky waters of self improvement.  Call it a desire to become EverBetter.

What's EverBetter?  Well, it's a drive that has lead me by the nose and straight into a spiritual search.  After all, to be enlightened is the Most Better one can ever get, isn't it?

Yes, that's all well and good but this blog is about holding every assumption up to Inquiry, and so I have to ask myself the most basic question:

Friday, September 11, 2015

Hell in a Handbasket: Laptops, Cars, and Other Spiritual Vices
artwork by Ingrid Lill

Quiz Time:

In this bright, big world of good and shiny things, there are possessions, and then there are things that are MINE, right?  What I mean is that possessions as I usually think of them are things like My House (which belongs to the bank, thank you), My Jetta (which belongs to yet another financial institution), My Samsung laptop (Ok, this actually is something I paid for in full).  You get the idea.  Those are my things, the very items I'd mourn if they went missing.  I mean seriously cry because I've invested some hard-earned cash.

Spiritual perfectionists would tell me that I need to ditch those things to be happy, or at least not be so god-awful attached to them.

Meh.  I'm not that spiritual, I guess.

The next level of stuff I own is this entirely amped up level of possessions. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Wake Up! There are sharks in the Think Tank

One of the most frustrating and freeing inquiries I've ever come across is the one spawned from this doodle.

Here.  Let's think about that.

The first reason for the frustration is exactly what the doodle notes.  The truth of things is that I just cannot ever predict what the next thought will be.  This is a problem because in the middle of inquiry, a thought about what happened at work last Monday will just pop.  There is absolutely no control over this no matter how hard "I" try.  This invading thought may be followed by one involving a plan for dinner, or maybe even an entirely ridiculous and imaginary scene I happen to enjoy because it involves Chris Cornell. 

Yeah.  You really don't want to think about that.

The second reason for my vexation is the impossible situation I find myself trying to unravel, which is that inquiry itself IS thought