I have been informed that I need to contribute more to the blog. For those of you who feel this way, my apologies. I forget that this too is a place where I get to meditate. Interesting. Having finished my first book, I’m now looking at my other projects waiting to see which will light a fire in me. In other words, I’m not writing allot right now. It’s easy to forget that it’s a cool place to hang out.
I’m meditating on drawing right now.
I’m glad the blog has created some helpful dialogue. I don’t want to answer each one, however in reading over your conversations, I hope that some of the questions and explanations will sink in and come out coherently.
I find the simplicity of what I have learned and study to be a great comfort because it makes it easier to remember.
Someone wrote questions about ‘detached.’ Without going back through my posts, and therefore leaving my self vulnerable to the possibility of contradicting myself, I relate to the word ‘detached’ in one of two ways. Either it has an emotional/judgmental dimension, or it is pure description of a simple action. Possibly the confusion comes from the former. By plugging into our awareness, we are able to observe/witness our sensory experience of existence. ‘Sensory’ includes emotions…the things that our mind attaches to events in our formative years. In those years we feel fear, yearning, love. Fear that we are helpless, hungry for sustenance, and, love. Those are the feelings we first know as creatures. Primitive and simple and these three colors are then used by our minds to describe to itself, to ‘know,’ and orchestrate the many complex scenarios that comprised our remembered and forgotten childhoods.
In observing/witnesssing our sensory experience of existence, we are still experiencing it because it is happening to a part of us. If it’s a good feeling, who’s going to questions that?
Puts me in mind of a documentary I saw on Bhuddist priests in Japan meditating for great lengths of time. Periodically someone would come up behind them and hit their shoulders really hard with bamboo sticks. The point being, there are two extremes to which our minds go when confronted with hard feelings and easy feelings. They are aversion and attachment. When things are good, we wan’t to keep them that way.( Notice, the mind is talking about ‘control’ here…”want to keep them that way…”). When things feel bad, difficult…our mind goes full tilt into aversion. Get away. Run from that feeling, and if you can’t run, hide. There are many places to hide; anger, controlling, hating, jealousy, depression, sadness…but the BEST one is DENIAL.
When the young priest cracks the meditating priests on the shoulders, they’re saying ‘be here…be now.”
See, it’s a misconception, or rather the mind’s indulgence in giving some value to meditating by saying that if one meditates, then one arrives somewhere. Gets to peace…love, God…. The problem with thinking that is that the attendant question just will not go away; Are we there yet? And if we are, when are we leaving? How long are we staying. Are you feeling anything yet?
Our ability to be present is inclusive of everything…all feelings, sensations, thoughts. Consciousness is our unique ability to be aware. Of everything that happens inside and outside of our bodies. From that place of awareness, we can experience our pain and fear AND we can also see it as just part of a larger experience which we are getting to watch…which we are choosing…to watch and glory in the experience of our oneness with everything that exists.
Definitions. Consider this: the dictionary is an edited/published book put together by a committee mentality that decides what best defines a word in terms of its history as well as its current use. It’s interesting that ‘detached’ was reported to mean to disassociate from one’s feelings. I find that interesting, because it honors the mind’s need to know, measure, define the word, yet ironically includes consciousness and the ego; “disassociate from one’s feelings.” In a way, that definition and product of the mind is acknowledging that there is a ‘place’ from where one can see and execute disassociating from one’s feelings by choosing to be conscious. I bet if you put the mind on trial, it would completely deny the existence of anything so unmeasurable as consciousness.
Lastly, I want to re-visit my definition of ‘patience.’ I believe I have suggested that patience is the remembered experience of love. (I had said ‘hope,’ I think, but ‘love’ seems more inclusive).
I take issue with someone’s use of the word ‘remembered.’ Not because it doesn’t suit, but because if we’re not careful, when can look to one aspect of ‘remembered,’ and miss the other. The first aspect is remembered experiences. We can call up these remembered experiences, the one where we felt love, togetherness, joy, and that is one way to remember, albeit it comes with a whole world of experiences which our bodies remember but have been ‘un’remembered, suppressed as being too difficult. How do we selectively ‘turn on’ our memories and truly prevent them from visiting all those ‘subterranean’ places our more colorful religious figures describe as ‘hell?’
The second aspect of remembering is key; By exercising our ability to be aware, by meditating on the present with the help of all these sensations and feelings and thoughts that are there to remind us that we have a conscious place, we get to feel and nurture our sense of peace, love, oneness… and return to it whenever we want…and that, that is what we ‘remember.’ Our ability to experience the purest feeling of love gives us our understanding of faith…(that this ‘place,’ this one-ness exists), and that remembered feeling give us patience and hope.
Wishing you every bit of all of it.