Ahhh, today is a normal day in the good way – not like the fake normal day I had yesterday. I feel like I pushed through a barrier on day eight. Even though I was needlessly dissatisfied with my normal day, even though I could barely sit still for the whole hour, I persisted and kept my schedule. I feel like I conquered myself. Today is a normal day because I am letting it be; and I am letting it be because I learned from yesterday. This is what progress feels like.
The interesting thing is that when I relax and let the day be normal, moments of bliss sneak in unexpectedly. The philosophy of non-action is making a believer out of me. I have been trying way too hard. I remember the koan about the student who asks his master how long it takes to become a master. His master replied “Ten years.” The student then asked, “What if I try three times harder than the average student?” His master replied, “then it will take you thirty years.”
My brother shared a meditation idea with me recently. He suggested that I sit as though suspended in a sea of neutral energy. Every thought I have and motion I make sends waves through the void from here to eternity. He recommended that I sit motionlessly and thoughtlessly (as much as possible) and observe the impact I make on this sea of energy. I am eager to try this today.
I assume a meditative posture. As on day seven, I pay extra attention to my posture before I start; I want to stay perfectly still through the hour. The timer is set for one hour. I hit start.
I spend several minutes settling in. Silence and stillness are present as soon as I close my eyes; I take the first few minutes to mute any other commotion in my consciousness. It doesn’t take long to get there.
I notice that parts of my body reject the silence and stillness; I can hold it in my head and heart, but I feel buzzing and tension in my abdomen and the muscles there refuse to relax. I spend several minutes feeling the stillness in each part of my body and letting my muscles relax around it.
After a while, I begin to feel my pulse in new places: several parts of my stomach, my inner arms, my upper thighs. My tongue and throat relax. As before on days eight and three, my limbs flush warm with blood flow. It feels amazing. I feel completely uniform inside from head to toe – the stillness within is equally present and simultaneously aware of itself in all corners of my body.
It’s time to begin my brother’s suggestion. I try to conceptualize a sea of neutral energy. What color is neutral? Gray? So I think and watch the waves? I imagine waves going from my head outward. This is harder than I thought it would be. I spend ten minutes visualizing waves and neutral energy and trying to see something. This feels like effort. I realize quickly that I’m working way too hard – I decide to sit back and observe to see what actually presents itself to my consciousness. I just sit for ten more minutes.
In an instant I clearly see what’s happening. By just sitting I finally observe myself objectively enough to tune in to my body’s field of energy. I started this meditation trying to make it a visual exercise; I am succeeding now because I am treating like a kinetic exercise. By feeling the vibration of my own body I put myself in the still seat of observation. I can feel what I am projecting and I instantly feel like a broadcasting station beaming a frequency into the void around me. The frequency is bright and sharp, and comes from a deeper part of my consciousness than my waking mental consciousness. I am suddenly much more aware of myself than I have been.
The first thing I notice: really care a lot about a lot of things. Everything matters and everything is at stake.
The frequency is intense, restless and craving, almost desperate. Now that I have felt it, it is undeniably present within me. Wow, did not expect that. I resist the urge to abandon the project. Instead, I let the frequency ring loudly and unobstructed. Within seconds it dies down and finds its level among the chord of other frequencies being broadcast from the center of my being. I survey the other frequencies as they ring together.
As on day two and seven, these frequencies manifest to me kinetically as emotions and feelings, not visually or audibly as words or thoughts. The words I could use to describe them are insufficient. Words represent these feelings very poorly. I see how difficult the task has been for meditators to describe their inner states to others in a way that makes sense.
Now that I have tuned in to them and let them ring, I root myself in the inner stillness and silently observe. My presence in the stillness softens and relaxes the frequencies. I spend several more minutes letting the radio broadcast of my being dissolve in the stillness of the void.
I notice that when I root in the stillness, the stillness is both within and beyond my body. I feel its presence under the frequency of my being, and I feel present in it “outside” of my body. It is one and has no opposite. When I link with it it subsumes me. This is the real deal. I am reminded of a Zen koan in which a student asks his dying master, “What can I do for you.” The master responds: “Build me a seamless tomb that is one with all things.”
My timer goes off. I open my eyes and I am the room. Today I tasted my presence in all things. I am thrilled with my progress but quick to detach from it – no more depending on good days for my satisfaction. I’m in it through the good and bad and will be here each day either way.