My intuition has been through the roof lately. During the last two nights I dreamed of events that came true the following morning. For several days I have not had to look for anything I misplaced; the object called to me from its location in the room. I have had a constant blanket of peace around me concerning deadlines and other uncertainties, and all is falling into place effortlessly.
Perhaps the most remarkable part of this is that it doesn’t matter to me. To be honest, I originally aspired to this outcome; inner peace was a guise. What I wanted most was power over my environment and I thought meditation might get me there. But now that I have let go of all expectations of gain, my situation has improved as a byproduct of my serene inner state. External benefits are only the flower; inner peace is the fruit. I am reminded of the 38th chapter of the Tao:
“Therefore, the full-grown man sets his heart upon the substance rather than the husk; upon the fruit rather than the flower. Truly he prefers what is within to what is without.”
None of this is to imply that everything in my life is going smoothly. I am still in the same general situation that I have been. But it seems so frivolous to stress about it. Things happen as they do. That used to seem like a problem. Right now I can’t remember why.
But I digress.
To return to my intuition: I have been completely connected with people and things lately; I understand them simply by being in their presence. The word intuition inadequately describes the phenomenon. It denotes that I exist in here, others exist out there, and some form of subconscious communication travels between us. Intuition implies separateness, duality, otherness. It entails a subject, an object, and distance.
But this is not what is happening. My feeling of separateness is fading. I feel oneness with people and things. I’m not having intuitions about them – I am sharing a singular experience with them. Rather than intuition, I’m experiencing synchronicity, non-dual awareness, or one mind. This is an important distinction because intuition is a dualistic concept that perpetuates dualistic awareness. Oneness is what it really is. In moments of oneness, I partake in the experience of a person, thing or situation. That’s the best way I can describe it.
My best explanation for this phenomenon is that a single awareness exists in all things. It is not hidden from itself. When I quit restricting my awareness to my limited identity and connect with the ground of being, the barriers to knowledge fall down. There is simultaneous recognition. The situation is one, self included. Nothing is obscured; no secrets remain.
In these moments of oneness I realize that people, things and situations have complete access to knowledge about me, too. Anyone who is attuned can read me like an open book. That’s a scary thought. Nothing is hidden from the universal awareness. I instantly replay every thought and intention I’ve ever had – yikes. But in a way, it’s great motivation be accountable to others as though they can read you. It purifies your motives quickly. In fact, now that I have experienced this level of connectivity, I feel a responsibility to purify my motives. Suddenly this feels like the only thing worth doing.
Today I am meditating from home. I sit in a meditative posture. Timer is set for one hour. I push start.
I am inspired today by a martial arts analogy. I have been told that meditation, like martial arts, is perfected not by accumulating more technique, but by stripping away all that is unnecessary. The analogy continues with a punch: the goal of a punch is not to feel strong or internalize the feel the blow – the goal is to create a maximum effect on the target. You don’t want to feel it more; you want to feel it less. You want your target to feel it more.
I would like to focus today on “feeling it less.” What does less effort feel like? Can I reach no effort? Can I go beyond no-effort into negative effort?
By simply adopting this mindset my meditation improves. I realize how much I try to feel it as I meditate. But just like that perfect strike, today I don’t want to feel it. I release all extra tension. Already I see that the feeling of meditating was a substitute for concentration and awareness. By feeling it less I perceive more clearly what is working and what is not.
I spend quite a while feeling it less, stripping away any vestiges of effort. I notice how badly I want to try. As I noted on day ten, effort and tension feel like control. Letting go is hard because I can’t conceive of anything getting done if “I” am not making it happen, and by making it happen I mean getting tense.
I spend the full hour doing less and feeling it less. As the timer sounds and I open my eyes, I feel an incredible lightness through my body. I am aware now of how much stress in the body is the result of trying.
So far resistance, expectation, and effort have been the three major hurdles to overcome in meditation. I’m left wondering if they require different techniques to overcome, or if silence cures all ills.