Now, this is quite a bold statement and is probably meaningless to most of the people on the planet, but this is something that is quite liberating if you are able to see it for yourself. So, how do you see it for yourself? Here's the theory: just as a rock is shaped by the wind or the action of the ocean, so too are our minds shaped by the world. Can you separate a pebble on the beach from the ocean that made it? - (you can take it home and put it on your table, but that's not quite the point) - they are bound together by conditions - the rock expresses the ocean, the ocean is expressed in the rock. Likewise, the way we think and make thoughts is an inevitable consequence of the world we live in.
Still with me, probably not. Best not to try and explain these things. Instead, try and experience it for yourself. Get the mind very quiet and listen to the birds (or cars, or trees) - at a certain point there is no you and bird, there is just what is out there - no mind, no bird, j…
Knowing what this means involves trying to do it. One day you will get there, like riding a bike. Then, once you can ride your bike, you ride your bike like crazy; no hands, feet on the handle bars - you become highly accomplished at it.
So then, enough chatty chit. How do you it?
- take a seat
- drop your attention into the body
- become aware of the feet, legs, body, arms and head. Hold the living sense of them in your mind.
- then maintain this awareness as a breath comes in
- if it helps, imagine the breath travelling through the body as you breathe in, down into the toes. Then imagine the breath flowing through the body as you breathe out.
- remember to include your head in your breathing
- breathe in, breathe out - keep awareness of your body
- this feels pretty good and is good progress for a busy mind, spend time enjoying this sense of awareness
- to go further, feel the pleasure of whole body awareness and relax into it. You could imagine the breath massaging the body and min…
It's easy to be hijacked by other people and live life on their terms - we are quite competitive, judgemental people after all. So when we see our friends in new cars with their new houses and interesting careers, it's easy to be sucked into their frame of reference, i.e. It's good to have all these things. This is even more compelling when it backed up by the consensus view of society. However, do not despair! These things only have meaning if you believe in them. If, like me, you have been forced down a different path then these things are meaningless and inconsequential. From where I've been, seeing my children grow up and having a pleasant day are far more compelling achievements. You might not see this because the way you see the world has been shaped a certain way. If you can, strip things back to what is important and live life through your own frame of reference. Avoid the other way, and start to enjoy what has real meaning to you.
Meditation means different things to different people - most of us start out thinking that it is about getting blissful and relaxed, which is perfectly reasonable. Then after we've been doing it for a while we realise that pleasure and contentment do arise, but there's also a lot of other things that happen that seem to get in the way - these are commonly known as the five hindrances in certain circles. We work with these for a bit and then we start exploring the mind a little more - pleasant things still happen, but there's also a lot of other things to see too. We see things coming and going, we see how the mind contracts around experience, and we start to see that nothing is personal - life just happens. Once these ideas sink in, we continue the process of letting go of our preconceptions about who and what we are - this letting go brings with it more bliss and happiness. As we let go, the mind becomes less reactionary and we start to experience the freedom of a mind th…