Showing posts from October, 2016

The yearning for peace

Once you've been meditating or contemplating for a while, you begin to realise that it's more a question of getting out of the way and letting it happen to you rather than you making it happen. I think we all know that we want a peaceful and stress free existence - we get a taste of it as we go through life - a sunset, an open vista, an afternoon on the riverbank, walking through a snowy field, etc. We yearn for these moments but we don't know how to get there. We don't know what it means. Well, don't worry about meaning, just create space in your life to access these moments more and more often. There's an unstoppable force in all our lives and it lives through all of us - we just need to let it happen.

And it will happen. If you let it.

What is mindfulness?

I like to have a crack at this every now and again because my appreciation of it seems to change as the years go by. This time I'll do it through a series of questions.

How do I know I'm being mindful?
The simplest way to do this is to label your experience as it happens. Keep it casual. Pay attention to what is going on and give it a label - sitting, seeing, thinking, feet, pressure, breathing. If you are able to label what is happening then you know what is happening. This knowing is mindfulness.
Is that it?
That's the beginning. Once you know what is going on you can begin to explore experience and what your mind is doing. This gives you some space around experience and this gap is where the freedom happens. This space separates out the details of your life from what you really are.
Why does it come and go?
The mind is a complex instrument that is rapidly switching between different modes of operation (for want of a better phrase). Mindfulness is not a mission critical thi…

Exploring unhindered awareness

It turns out that the ultimate feel good technique is to find a state of peace and equanimity and just hang out there. Thoughts pop up every now and again but they are not bothersome, we tolerate just about anything, and we can work up some kundalini excitement whenever we feel like it or we can disappear into a state of nothingness. However, we are not zombies - we still do what we need to do but we are clear why we are doing it and what needs to be done.

So then, it seems as if I am nearing the end of this feel good journey, but I've said that before. The final piece of the puzzle is the exploration of unconditioned awareness - that is to say, the presence that exists in each moment of knowing. This where it gets tricky - you can't investigate awareness because it is not something in the mind, but something that arises to illuminate each moment in the mind - a bit like dust particles and light beams or a rainbow. This kind of awareness is the fabric of physical reality inter…