(***Post warning , If you like thinking meditation, and paying attention is about, relaxation, following your bliss, and health, you probably should distract yourself, go chase rainbows and move on. This is not the post for you.***)
Ok, so now that you have been warned I will begin my rant. I see more bovine excreta on the subject of Meditation, and mindfulness in a single day to make all of the past mystics break out into fits of laughter, and spit water through their noses, all the while realizing how sad it is that human beings as a whole are still so actively engaged in staying asleep. The Buddhist image of a lotus is not one of a beautiful flower growing from the perfect state of being ,into the waters of daily life, and then sinking into the mire of muck. No, it is of the progress of the soul from the primeval mud , through the waters of experience, and into the sunshine of enlightenment. Guess where We are in this picture?
You guessed it, we are in the muck and mire of primordial ooze. Engaging mindfulness authentically is to have the understanding that we are in the muck and mire of everyday life, every second in illusion, even for the Ascended Mystics. The difference is, the mystic Knows this truth about the illusion and is not fooled by inauthentic experience or the illusion. So what are we to do? Pretend we are enlightened beings? Pretend the illusion doesn’t apply to us? No! We Pay attention. How do we begin to see the illusion? Mindfulness. Honesty. Courage. Strength, daily practice, and with transcendental reason and understanding to look directly at the face of it, at the face of the mind. You start where you are, looking at the Body/Mind you begin to pay attention.
Establishing a daily practice, of seated meditation and meditative movement requires that you just engage. You make a date with yourself and you show up. You test your assumptions of how you view the world. You just See the plain unadorned mucky old self , as common as humanity itself, and pay attention. Look at the hours of inspirational comments that you can find on the internet. All of which can lead a person to believe that every time they meditate they will experience some sort of rainbows shooting out of their behinds, or that they will become some sort of ascended master with 15 minutes of mindfulness. that all of their problems will go away. Let’s face it, everybody wants some relief from the crazy workings of the body/mind, the daily troubles, worries, the fears, we want distractions from boredom, from the loudness of the mind, from our habits, our terrible situations, some even run from happiness, we all run from our body/Minds, TO LOOK OUTWARD FOR SOMETHING TO FIX US. ( marketers love that instinct!) We want to hold onto inspirational quotes as if they are pacifiers, and then when we get to the work of paying attention, what we find, is ourselves. It’s not very sexy, not all that exciting, it is, at times, difficult, and leads people to believe that they just suck at meditation, that they can’t do it right, they are just no good at it. Welcome to your illusion. Welcome to daily practice. You engage yourself, with all of your present gifts and deficits and through time and play you slowly get to know yourself warts and all. Your ability to wake up depends on how honest you can be with yourself, at any given moment. Also how kind, compassionate, and forgiving.
I am not trying to be a downer here because there are days too in meditation when the mystic conversation abounds when Chi is flowing through you and all seems right. This too is the illusion. Just pay attention to it, don’t grasp, it too will pass. Despite what all of the inspirational quotes say, some days ,probably more than not , you just engage yourself, in all of your glory and in all of your confusion. You are not hiding from the world of yourself and All parts of it, you look towards the world of the Body/Mind, watching all of it, intuitively looking for its true heart. The meditation recipes are all very easy. Such as the meditation I described in one of my earlier posts. Even when you are playing a sequence like Da Mo’s 18 the movements are relatively easy, the paying attention is hard. Playing, doing the work, doing your meditation on good days and bad, happy or sad, doing Chi Gung, doing Mindfulness activities, all point back to your engagement with your body/mind. I guess what I am getting at is the unwritten expectation that I see in much of the nonsense written about mindfulness activities. Such as “Empty your mind and flow into the Tao.” or “Get rid of the Ego” maybe these things happen, when you pay attention but it reminds me of a joke from Steve Martin You can be a millionaire and never pay taxes. First get a million dollars, the joke goes on from there but that’s the part that is funny in this context. Bringing expectations into your daily practice only serves to limit the conversation, to look for some ideal outside of you, to mislead yourself into being inauthentic. With no expectations, no hope of success, you engage yourself every day. You just pay attention. It may not be exciting, it may be boring, it may be annoying, it may not be as entertaining as the internet and t.v. or the purchase of some new product that will take you away, it may even be worse, it may be beautiful, and blissful and then when that disappears from view (and it will) you wonder what you are doing wrong! However, despite all of that, sitting in a room by yourself, in the quiet, not grasping at the thoughts that go by, but watching them go by, with kindness, humility, and love yields something the world of people needs. Authentic kindness, authentic love, and minds unfooled by the illusion presenting itself all around us.