Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Silence for 10 Days

Meditation retreat grounds: Menomonie, Wisconsin.
A 10 day silent vipassana meditation begins today. No reading, writing, talking, smart phoning, etc. I will be picking up another participant who needs a ride, and we will begin the course this evening.  If you would like to join in at anytime, just close your eyes and look/feel within yourself. Spend as much time as you can with a felt sense of being present in your body, watching the coming and goings of the mind with loving kindness. Feel the coming and going of breath and sensation.

What I love best about this practice is the inarguable confirmation that I am not my thoughts. I am consciousness. I just am. There is never any turmoil in the present moment, something I can easily forget when running around in my mind much of the time. During meditation, thoughts come and go, yet my experience is not tied up in the content of the thinking/plotting/planning/controlling mind. Again, not controlling or trying to prevent thoughts from passing through, just noticing that thoughts are not reality. Stay tuned into everything present; bodily sensations, environmental noises, more thoughts. There is a gradually a loss of interest in the content of thoughts. It gets easier to see how the thinking mind tries every angle to distract from the Now. Imagined stories of past and future parade through like urgent matters needing immediate focus and fixing. In the now, the thinking mind loses it's job, so I can understand it's desperation and drama. Once the thinking mind loses it's authority, the breath becomes unbelievably interesting, always present, just waiting to be noticed. Tuning into the breath, you can be released from the controlling nature of the mind, and released into the the reality of now.
You may find "Finding the Feeling" a valuable practice in getting started or reacquainted with meditation. It is a brief practice found in Pema Chödrön's new book, How To Meditate. A Practical Guide to Making Friends with your Mind. For some on-line meditation tips, check out Yoga International here.

"You are the Saviour
but only of yourself.
To save yourself
simply means to awaken
out of the past and future
into the present moment."

-Leonard Jacobson

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