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An Experienced Meditation

Posted on:June 29, 2021 at 12:13 PM

You start sitting still, watching the breath but quickly moving to let all sensory data wash over you. You quickly become distracted by one thought or another, but catch yourself fairly quickly too.

You find yourself in a rhythm of distraction, noticing, distraction, noticing. Years of practice have depleted any idea of judgement or guilt for becoming distracted. You simply find it happening equanimously.

You subtly notice the noticing of this pattern, but quickly dismiss this line of thought, you know the futility of more than one level of recursive thought all too well.

They say meditation helps to quiet the mind down. But this is not quite right, it quiets some folks in the mind, but brings the quiet voices to the surface and lets them get their moment in the spotlight.

First the distractions are the loud voices. I have an itch… notice and watch it pass. Don’t I have something better to be doing? Notice and watch it pass. My back is going to ache after this, watch and pass. How is my posture, my attitude, I’m sleepy, hungry, need to get to work, need to relax. All met with perfect equanimity, non-reaction, but sufficient attention, until they pass.

After some time like this the quieter, but much more engaging minds come into the spotlight. Those who have something to tell, but only speak in a whisper of tangled metaphor. They often speak in the form of story, but can reveal what the underlying mind really wants and really feels. This is the start of peeling back the layers of the onion. It’s important to listen to these quiet folk and the stories they tell, but not to get caught up in them. The value is in the introspection, not in the story itself.

The heart begins to bear. Naked and vulnerable and delicate as a flower petal. Each thought and analysis must be met with utmost care and equanimity. You quickly see how the indescribable whispers of the mind are the core that drive all experience. How the world is constructed and this small quiet part of the mind supplies all the material for that construction. You meet this part of the mind with slow caution, asking gentle question, letting the prefrontal cortex process slowly, carefully, thoughtfully, before taking the next step.

”Why do I want time to stop?"

"The way we are processing the passing of time and our responsibility to use it is mistaken, we can adjust to a better, more accurate understanding."

"Why do I impulsively eat?” “Why do I buy objects I don’t need?"

"We are not careful to understand what gives and takes energy, what gives and takes happiness, we can adjust.”

All the voices in your head are listening together, contemplating, understanding, moving forward just an inch of a hundred mile long road. But it’s more movement than you’ve had before. We’re conducting surgery on the subconscious. We’re shifting the defaults.

You notice you’ve been lost in thought. You notice your visual field swirling in a not quite dark open space. You feel your hands and legs and face. The breath is coming and going in your nose, chest, belly. As you stir to begin returning to your day you feel all your skin at once in a soft tingle. A small smile spreads across your face. The work you’ve done on your subconscious is like a dream you can’t quite remember.

Years of daily work not only changes your defaults, but increases your confidence in your ability to change your defaults, and exercise the muscle of change itself.

You no longer get bored in the grocery line, being bored is simply not paying attention. Seeking boredom is healthy.

You work out, drop alcohol, drop caffeine sometimes, drop sugar sometimes, you get good sleep. You haven’t considered road-rage in years, it simply isn’t in the cards.

Care, kindness, and love flourish. You find joy in the people around you. Each person feels like family.