I enjoyed reading this article by Norman Fischer on Meditation. Thought you might, as well. x Joy
Sit with the feeling of being alive; simply being present using body and breath as anchor. This means just to be present with what is, without DOING anything with any of it. Just being in relation to it. Allowing it. Permitting it. Being permissive, being open to it. In a sense we are not experiencing anything at all in meditation, because experience is always grasping. And with grasping there is dissatisfaction, because whatever we can grasp we can tire of – we will tire of. And will want something else, something new. But what we just allow, what we just let come and go, without grasping or identifying, we don’t tire of, we don’t need anything more. So we sit, simply sit, in the present moment of being alive.
When we sit in this way, we find ourselves in a different relation to ourselves because we are no longer objectifying ourselves and our experiences, no longer judging ourselves, trying to improve ourselves. We are just sitting, just being there. So in a sense we are not there at all, because the person we think of as being ourselves is an object to us, a self we can feel good about or bad about, a self we present to others against whom we must be measured. This fact of being presented to the world, being measured against others, IS what we mean by our self, even in the privacy of our most intimate moments. We have been taught to internalize the world; in a sense the world’s judgments are inextricably connected to our deepest innermost sense of who we are. But when we are sitting we are deactivating this socially determined self, so we are getting a big relief, a big break from ourselves in our sitting.
Now this is odd and strange. It is completely paradoxical. Because when we are sitting we are, at the same time, of course, getting a tremendous dose of ourselves. We are probably having a greater density – or at least it seems as if we are having a greater density – of thoughts, feelings, and sensations than we normally do. So there may be a lot of familiar and unfamiliar material arising when we are sitting. This makes it seem, at first glance, as if we are being more ourselves on the cushion than anywhere else; that we are more stuck with ourselves on the cushion than we are at other times, when we can distract ourselves with other people, or with activity of some sort. But in fact the opposite is true. Because we are relating to what arises on the cushion quite differently from our usual way – which is to say, we are not taking it for granted automatically AS ourselves, we are not identifying with it automatically, in the usual way, but are instead allowing it to come and to go, using the feeling of the body and the breathing as a way of making a large enough space to let the material of the self come and go without objectifying it. Because of this simple yet radical shift in basic attitude that takes place when we are sitting, relating to the (continue reading here)