Today I officially push into the second half of my journey. Having gone this far, I have to say that I don’t know how I lived without daily meditation before this. At the cost of one hour a day I have gained extraordinary mental clarity, the ability to focus deeply, a deep and persistent sense of well being, a solid presence of mind, and my intuition has developed into a primary sense. I feel that I can pierce any situation despite the difficulty, even when it’s hard or painful to do so.
The topic of inquiry for today’s meditation is: What are the permanent features in my meditative experience? My goal is to see through or to let fall away those impermanent features and to identify and reside in what is permanent. I am inspired by Sri Ramana Maharshi’s statement that anything that appears – anything that can be seen – is temporary and thus not ultimately real. I will use this as a guidepost during today’s practice.
I assume a meditative posture. I set my timer for one hour and push start.
The first thing that I recognize as permanent is the seer himself – the I that is aware. Maharshi is correct: all that appears before my awareness is temporary and thus ultimately unreal. But the awareness itself, the seer, never leaves and never changes. The source of this permanence lies within you. I assume the position of the seer and let all else exist before me. As each new thought or sensation arises I remain behind it as though watching from behind a screen. The further back I fall into the seat of the seer, the more radiant I feel. I feel layers of tension melt from my body without any effort. I only observe all things as they are.
The second feature that I recognize as permanent is the here and now – no matter where and when I am meditating, it is always here and now. It startles me to realize that the here and now is more real than I am. The limited I comprised of the body and mind is an impermanent feature. My body changes, my mind changes, the content comes and goes. Only the seer’s awareness is permanent, and the seer is only aware of here and now.
With these realizations still fresh in my consciousness, I concentrate on residing in only the permanent features: I am the seer here and now. It’s misleading to say that I concentrate: concentration is an action of the mind and of the temporary self. More accurately, I silence the temporary features and allow the permanent features to shine through.
I sit this way for twenty minutes or more. Slowly my experience deepens. I find myself connected entirely to what is. As the mind quits judging and desiring, what is reveals itself. It is rock-solid and infinite, permanent and unmovable; and yet all things come from it. I have read about this before:
There was something formless and perfect before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty. Solitary. Unchanging. Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name, I call it the Tao.
It flows through all things, inside and outside, and returns to the origin of all things.
In the beginning was the Tao. All things issue from it; all things return to it.
To find the origin, trace back the manifestations.
When you recognize the children and find the mother, you will be free of sorrow.
If you close your mind in judgments and traffic with desires, your heart will be troubled.
If you keep your mind from judging and aren’t led by the senses, your heart will find peace.
Seeing into darkness is clarity. Knowing how to yield is strength.
Use your own light and return to the source of light.
This is called practicing eternity.
These beautiful word only point to the experience. I sit in the presence of what is until my time runs out. I feel it in all things as I return to my day.