February 15, 2013

Meditation Month, Day 15: On and Off the Cushion

With a private, tranquil time and place for practice, it has become regular, and for that reason, a bit easier. The dishes might be dirty and I might not have a dresser or a single serviceable pot or pan, but it's been a relief to put the seemingly endless tasks of moving in aside for a brief period each day. Most valuable is the felt realization that I don't need any of those things to feel peaceful and at home in my home-in-progress.

My regularizing practice breakthrough came after I finished this tome that I've been reading since fall—my favorite diversion of the past several months—which was a relief and then almost immediately after devastating, as finishing a good novel often is. Left with little else (there's no TV or even internet yet), it was time to sit. Would it constitute a respite from activity, a brief pause, or another diversion? In all honesty, it was probably a mix of the three.

I suppose it was a good sit, but there's not much to say about it. This sit didn't consist of any mystical experiences or anything. I can see why, among several reasons, talking about one's meditation is discouraged. Sitting really isn't much of anything. Rather, it's the cultivation of a deep, prickling quality of awareness, an inevitable surfeit of feeling everywhere off the cushion, but also bound to it, where the substance seems to lay. Galvanized by those moments when I become aware of the powerful thoughts and emotions that continuously charge through me and swarm around me, at the same time a glimpse of just how numb I am almost always, I settle into practice with ease.

 

Image: Flickr/Jocelyn Durston

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