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.

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