A lot of people come to meditation at some point in their lives. They come for various reasons. Many struggle with meditation for a while and then close shop. The reason many give is that nothing seemed to be happening. They couldn’t justify just sitting there any longer. They needed a reason to sit and they needed to feel like something was happening to them. They were grasping onto an image they had built in their minds of what meditation should do to and for them. I offer that if something does happen, and it changes you inside, the chances of you knowing it are slim to none. People around you may notice a change and let you know.
There is all sorts of information out there concerning the benefits of meditation. A sense of calm and peaceful feelings, lower blood pressure, an ability to focus, relaxing, a sense of doing something for yourself. It’s all there. And it can all happen to people in various stages and states of meditation. It’s all good.
I am entirely unsure about most of the claims concerning altered states of consciousness and becoming enlightened. Maybe, maybe not. I lost interest in that stuff a long time ago.
Here is what I think about meditation. We begin to become aware of the way we are instead of the artificial way we imaging ourselves. We start to let go of the idea of becoming something, not because there is anything wrong with it, we simply find that it no longer serves a purpose. I don’t think in terms of changing as much as evolution and expansion. We evolve, not higher, not into anything special, we evolve into what triggers that sense of coming home to who we are, who we really are, in the most basic sense.
Most of the time when studying the Eight fold path we seem to start from a place of lack. It’s as though Right View, or what I call Apposite view, isn’t a part of our experiential vocabulary. It is. Like Apposite speech. It’s not as though we are trying to learn some alien new way to be, we are EXPANDING AND EVOLVING those attributes we already have. We are not trying to become spiritual we are trying to expand the spirituality that we posses. We all posses.
When you sit still and trap your mind in a body that isn’t going to entertain it, the mind starts to entertain itself. It gets really noisy, turns to fantasy and delusion, starts to tell you how ridiculous this is and how sitting is a profound waste of time. It spends time while we sit visiting the past and future, complaining, whining, blaming, has opinions about everything. It is insecure and anxious, fearful, bored, numb, refers to body pain, visits scenes of suffering, sex, humiliation, and domination. It wonders about what time it is and when will this sitting be over? All this noise can go on for a long time. The mind will convince you that you have had great spiritual awakenings and the universe has clarified and now you can get on with your life.
But, You don’t stop. You believe nothing. Doubt and curiosity prevail. YOU. KEEP. GOING
One sitting you notice that you are watching all that noise happening. You took a step back and saw something you never noticed. There is a tiny disconnect from the noise. A window that opens from the genuine, wordless, you that is pure awareness. The window comes and goes and stays open for longer periods. You probably don’t tell anyone because you can’t. You don’t write it down because you can’t. You cannot put it into an art form. It’s yours. A singular experience of pure awareness on a non-verbal level. You share that experience with others by having it, not by talking about it.
That serves to connect you on a level that you never experienced before. You go from being a single singularity in the vast universe to be a singularity that is the massive, connected, everything that ever was, will be, could be, hasn’t been, or never will be. And, then that too normalizes.
You find yourself not caring while caring so much it brings tears.
You find yourself in the world but not of the world.
You no longer worry about how you are going to react to authority, yours or others.
You see more and in a clearer fashion than you thought possible.
And since nothing stands between you and others you see them for the first time and fall in love, with everything.
Nothing changes. There is no payoff. You have no super powers. You don’t know more than others. Your not better, your not worse. You are.
For the first time you fit. Really fit. Your no longer looking in. Or out. Your seeing and accepting and experiencing.
My advice? Keep going. Keep meditating. Expect nothing. Be patient. Study, read, and learn everything. Be ready. Do your very best. And, you will expand.
Love you always.