Imagining a Way Out of the Mind

September 11, 2007

Sitting, legs crossed, buckwheat husks supporting the bottom.  Arms hanging slightly to the side, hands finding their way to the tops of the thighs, palms upward to the heavens.  Neck and spine aligned and most importantly eyes closed.  Coughing heard intermittently but mostly it is quiet.  Finally I am here, ready to break through the wall of mind to find what: enlightenment? peace? understanding?

I gently rock from side to side, perhaps the perfect positioning will start the kundalini rising and I will skyrocket out of sight! Attention brought to the breath, feeling sensations, awareness expanding, I’m almost there.  But wait. Whatever happened to my old friend Andy who lived across Bow street, the city line smack down the middle of the asphalt, we forever going to different schools.  When did I see him last? Agh! Back to the breath (how am I ever going to get there if I can’t concentrate?) feeling sensations (don’t think, don’t think) awareness expanding ( is someone snoring?).

I think my left leg has fallen asleep.  I haven’t felt sensations from that area of the body in some time.  I shuffle two fingers to the calf and pinch, nothing.  Angling forward I re-position the butt bones.  Blood rushes into the clamped vessels and a coolness shoots down my leg.  Excrutiating tingles, explosions of jubilant corpuscles celebrating the return of the sanguine flow.  I (my mind) try to find equanimity amid the sensation-rich undulations.  Remember calm… Remember peace…Did the Buddha ever suffer such petty setbacks?

Okay. I’m back on track.  Perfect posture, breathing steady, sensations sensed.  Let me be uplifted to the highest bliss, toss aside these human shackles and ascend.  Eye peaks to the clock.  Ten minutes have passed!  Ah yes this may be more of a process…but I’ve heard it can happen in an instant…now where did I read that?

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15 Responses to “Imagining a Way Out of the Mind”


  1. I can’t meditate while seating in that classic lotus position. I can escape from everything but myself.

    Your post made me smile. Whatever is said or written about it is not easily done.

    You rightfully ask…”now where did I read that?”

    Kundalini indeed!


  2. I can identify with this clever post – am usually too impatient to sit in one space for that long trying to meditate. The curse of an unquiet mind! 🙂

  3. Catalina Says:

    🙂 I guess meditation is just that. Paying attention to your body and flying away and coming back and just “watching this movement without grasping at it”

  4. Tumblewords Says:

    Not easy. During yoga, I insist upon escaping to somewhere else – anywhere else! Nice post!

  5. Matthew Says:

    Gautami-I too have trouble in the lotus or even-half-lotus position. I can sit cross-legged for a little while and a bit longer on good days. Yes it always sounds easier when you read about it on the page, of course the action is where it’s at.

    Paris-I think we are all cursed with unquiet minds. Yet that curse does help the words flow onto the page. I wonder if I can find enlightenment hidden between these words 🙂

    Catalina-Yes I think you’ve said it perfectly.

    Tumblewords-Thanks and I hear you.

  6. awareness Says:

    LOVE IT! I think the best place to meditate and pray is in the bathtub. However, anywhere I am when I try to quiet the old noggin, I seem to float off to imagination land and I lose track too of the clearing of the head thing.

  7. Kimberley Says:

    Good read. Half the time I have to stop meditating to write down creative ideas so that they won’t disappear into the ethers –

    Nice meeting you at Writer’s Island.

  8. ...deb Says:

    Fun and so true. I was especially captivated by “Excrutiating tingles, explosions of jubilant corpuscles celebrating the return of the sanguine flow.” Such a quasti-scientific explanaation in the middle of your meditation was great fun.

  9. sister AE Says:

    Yes! A kind person tried to teach me how to meditate when I was a senior in college. I never could quite catch the knack of it – if i chanted inside my head, I always ended up playing with the sounds which reminded me of other sounds, etc. And off my brain would go, never wanting to slow down, which, I suppose, was why this person thought I could use meditation in the first place!

  10. Jo Says:

    Never been able to meditate either…….can’t tune out the noise LOL. But I enjoyed reading.

  11. Pauline Says:

    This made me chuckle. I’ve tried that sort of sitting meditation and got nowhere other than sore and cranky. But walking meditation! I am always and every time surprised to find myself on the road or in the meadow or on the footpath again after I’ve lost my self in no thought.

  12. jonas Says:

    Matthew-

    thanks for sharing. good to see other information (mad)scientists exploring the realms of life beyond screens and libraries and dissolving into particles during seated meditation, seeking out the music of stillness of mind. dug your piece, i’ve been struggling with meditation for years, where do all those forgotten and lost thoughts return from when trying to quiet the mind? i live in alaska but am nearly done with my masters in information and library science at drexel u in philadelphia (yes distance ed is a lot like living in virtual reality (or unreality). keep up the blog, looks great, did you see this NYT article on “A Hipper Crowd of Shushers”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/08/fashion/08librarian.html?ex=1189742400&en=75dba5e5c121c3e8&ei=5070

  13. Rob Kistner Says:

    Brilliantly clever — I loved this… and could relate to every line. I have had ADD all of my life — meditation is just not in the cards for me… 😉

    Very witty — put smile on my face!

    So glad you’re an islander!

  14. Matthew Says:

    Thanks for all of the kind comments. Interesting how seemingly simple meditation is yet requires a concentration that few of us (me included) attain. There is always tomorrow (and today) to sit and breath in all that is.

    Jonas-thanks yes I did read the article. Hip we are!


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