Lots of choices of things to do and places to see for our group. We disperse out every afternoon in different directions and re group every evening.
Today I’m choosing to focus on my inner landscape and my meditation practice. Just like the outer landscape there are so many choices, thoughts, things to do lists, and so on that go on inside. We disperse our consciousness out every where and scatter it all over the place. We try to sit still and quiet our mind but it decides to take a hike to see what else it can find more interesting than breathing. We try to bring it back and make it sit on the mat. It laughs out loud at us. So much for willful practice.
So we try softer, surrender our will and allow things to be just as they are. We let go of tension and striving and arriving and seeking and just start seeing or witnessing. We begin to rest the mind in the heart or in the mantra. As we collect our awareness into just this we realize we are going nowhere because we already ARE there. We just breathe, relax, feel, watch and allow the practice to unfold itself.
It’s a balance of effort and surrender like all yoga. It’s a beautiful day here in India, eighty degrees, blue skies, perfect weather to take a hike. But today I’m choosing to sit and go nowhere. How about you?
White paper, empty slate,
Blank pages mind erased
It is late. Day is now night. Everyone else sleeps. Quietness all around me. Lots happened today. I read your entry and ask “how about me?” You stimulate self reflection. Experiences of the day flow in and out of my mind as I think. Choose? Did I choose to do those things? Did I choose? What plan did I follow? Somehow I knew what I had to do. The time came and things got done. Exercise, work, eating, buying groceries, cooking, eating, laundry, all converge into one now. Activities of my day frozen in stillness in my mind. Quiet meditative moments rejuvenated me, long distance conversations with family had me traveling to different parts of the country, and an unexpected meeting with a long lost friend brought great joy. These latter were more spontaneous. I must have chosen to listen, to feel. And so it is, the day just sort of happened. I guess I “chose” the night before or maybe the week before as I had a plan in my head that I followed. So you make me sit and think, how about me? I did go off in different directions, but with moments of contemplation in between – moments of activity and inactivity. Or is it “the balance of effort and surrender” you speak of? …..like all yoga…. And so it is, and so it will be. A news reporter said today that “the most emailed article in the last 48 hours” was one written in the New York Times about relaxation and how regular moments of relaxation throughout the day, especially deep relaxation, make one more productive. Obviously there is much interest in this – relaxation, going nowhere, and productivity, dispersing somewhere or maybe everywhere. We all have a much greater need to choose. The article suggests we would be most productive if we worked intensely in 90 minute intervals with longer breaks in between. It stresses the need to not skip lunch, to take that afternoon nap, to get that full night’s sleep and take all the vacation days you are allowed. The author reflects on the irony that people tend not to do these things so they can be more productive when in actuality it is the opposite. But is that not what we know in studying yoga?….like all yoga…..Tomorrow I will be more mindful of my choices as I already know tonight my plans for the day. Perhaps I will choose to sit and go nowhere or sit and go everywhere. Hope whatever you choose tomorrow brings you much joy and peace. May it be a special happy one for I send loving thoughts and hugs your way. Namaste, Liliana.
It IS good to lose my mind in meditation, to help to realize that it does not have to run the show. You describe so well what happens in the meditation process, but if we practice we make progress and attain some realization of Who we are. There IS nothing to attain, nowhere to go, nothing to do. We only need to enter into reality. Sounds so simple, but it is hard to find your way when you are lost. Losing the mind is such freedom. I wish I was there, but am with you in spirit.