Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Blessings of Meditation

There are some beautiful changes in my meditation at present which I thought I’d share.

A month or so ago I switched to doing my daily meditation out in the open again, having spent much of the last 6 months meditating outdoors. It’s been such a joy to meditate under the open sky, regardless of the weather, rain, wind or cloud. There’s something really beautiful about being outside, without a roof overhead, and exposed to nature and the elements which seems so conducive to meditation. Every day the weather is noticeably different, and provides an immediate reflection on impermanence. Each day similarly feels special, as it is not known what conditions await at the meditation seat. Practicing Chod seems particularly conducive in the outside, traditionally practiced as it is in graveyards and remote places.

It’s been some 3 months since I switched to meditating with my eyes open, and again this has had quite a profound effect. Actually inviting the visual consciousness into the meditation, though focussed on the 6th or mental consciousness, seems to have given me a different sense of how that visual consciousness actually is. Somehow over this time the visual consciousness and its objects have more of an insubstantial character now, where in the past they were more seductive and bewitching in their seeming substantiality. I notice the dreamlike nature of things more often, and that feels at least in part due to having somehow undermined my belief in the substantiality of the visual world through switching to meditating with eyes open. Having consistently practiced meditation in seemingly ‘difficult’ places over the years, such as café’s, buses, parks, trains etc, I seem increasingly able to let go of any sense that what arises in mind is distraction/not distraction, and somehow allow it to play whilst my meditation plays.

This last month I’ve come to meditate downstairs at home at the weekend, and my two year old has rapidly adjusted to my presence, and my meditation. Amazingly he doesn’t try to play with me or interact with me, and seems genuinely calmed and happy with my meditating and chanting nearby. Usually he seeks one cuddle during the meditation, which suits so well, and provides a beautiful moment of shared joy and stillness. At his age his changes in mood and character are so apparent, and I wonder how meditating with him will play out over the months ahead.

Meditating outside has brought a renewed sense of connectivity, and spaciousness to my mediation. Keeping my eyes open has enhanced my appreciation of the luminous aspect of mind, and undermined my sense of the solidity of the visual realm. And meditating with my 2 year old nearby has brought a wonderful sense of sharing, and benefit to other to this most precious of activities.

Once again, how utterly blessed I am in this lifetime, to share such riches, to be aware of such possibility, and to live this life of adventure and discovery.

May all beings attain the spotless realisation of the Enlightened ones!


Al said...

...seems like your in a great space - if I may ask - how much "concentration" is applied during your meditation - I do recall you mentioning devotional aspect - does it mainly consist of chanting/mantra? I know many times when the family is around but there is not much talking - on the porch in the morning before the hustle of the day starts - I find myself turning toward an awareness of the breath - but I don't really "count" this as formal enough to consider it as having sat for the day. Probably because it does not sustain itself for more than 2 or 3 minutes at a time before it is "interrupted" by speech. I love these times - and I find myself trying to incorporate them into my work day as well - but again, it is not that formal "sit" - what is your take?


Tinne said...

Interesting. My teacher encourages meditating with open eyes but I find my eyes start to burn after a while and even water. I usually go back and forth between open and closed during one 25 min session. I am definately more comfortable with them closed.