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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Meditation.  I just consulted dictionary.com to look for a proper definition and found one I like via wordnet.

~continuous and profound contemplation or musing on a subject or series of subjects of a deep or abstruse nature; “the habit of meditation is the basis for all real knowledge”

Yeah, that’s nice.  Especially the last part.  I used to be a great reader of spiritual texts from Krishnamurti to Papaji with sprinklings of Buddhism and Zen mixed in.  Coming from a Catholic background I was interested in different worldviews that stepped out of the narrow confines of Christianity.  I’ve even read channelled texts that speak to the greater purposes of the human race.  Throughout my readings I kept coming back to meditation and the need to experience reality directly.  After all reading can only get you so far in pointing the direction–eventually you must put down the book and walk through the door.

Of course reading about all of these different ways up the mountain I became confused as to what you were actually supposed to do when you meditate.  Sit quietly on the ground? Cross-legged or in a chair?  Does it have to be the lotus position to get close to god?  I can’t stop thinking..what am I doing just sitting here!

My ever-changing conclusion is that meditation can look like anything at all and manifests differently in every individual.  Watching a tree sway in the summer breeze, sitting quietly as the morning light moves across the earth, listening to that piece of music that uplifts and calms, walking through shady streets in the heat of the day, observing life abundant and letting the mind unravel.

Learning a style of meditation can be beneficial for a time but after a while constricts the window of experience when the meditator is more involved with the rules than what they allude to.  I practiced the Vipassana style for some time and found a way through my wall of thought to a stillness of mind I didn’t think possible.  For that I am grateful.  The total immersion approach practiced by the participants (10 days of silence) helps to slough away years of mind garbage.  The problem?  Well there are rules to follow if you want to get to the deeper levels of awareness.  And that is when my questions start.

If its as simple as being aware then why must there be rules to enforce this natural state?  Do levels of achievement actually exist when we are considering the pervasiveness of reality?  Wouldn’t it just be fine to take what I have learned, throw away the parts I don’t find useful and do my own thing?

That’s where I am now.  Writing these words as a meditation, going for walks, occasionally sitting cross-legged and sensing the energy within and without.  Perhaps all that we witness can be fodder for our own spiritual understanding.

Waking up today

April 4, 2007

Today the cherry blossoms were falling like snow on my windshield as I relaxed during my dinner break.  I even tracked them into the library as my Converse provide perfect blossom pocket holders.  I’ve since cleaned up my flowery tracks but the image of the cascading spring shower still tickles my brain.

The mockingbird sings strong discordant tunes in search of a mate as I glaze over into sleepiness.  I wonder about the beauty all around and my place as observer of it all.  I’m willing to let go of my identity (for just a moment) to bask in the happenings exploding all around.  Robins dogfighting, leaves waving, cars growling.

My attention translates the enormity of life into these tiny scribblings.  My attention goes back out and is silenced by the unknowableness of the cosmic dance.