Thursday, February 21, 2013
In order to compare sitting in Mindfulness and sitting in the awareness field beyond the mind in Meditation we might take a look at how we first begin to understand our world from birth. So much of our passive or receptive learning is acquired in the early formative months and years by simple observation. Similarly, Mindfulness is an introduction to one’s mind, to the world created within the mind. We do this practice to gain access to the window of the mind, to learn how to witness or watch our thoughts, feelings, obsessions, super ego bantering, and the rest of the players on the street of the mind. It can be torturous, fascinating, and annoying to process but it’s well worth the price to learn “everything anyone ever wanted to know” and more, about the contents of one’s mind. It also takes great patience.
By adding a little mindfulness to a meditation practice, like a little cream in one’s coffee, the person who is intending meditation can become better equipped to discern the difference between pure awareness and the mind. However, if we look at our mind continually as a complete meditation practice, it is entirely possible to completely miss the mark. One can wander indefinitely in the land mines of the mind and never reach the pure field of awareness.
This is usually what I have to do in the beginning of my meditation time. My mind travels a universe full of the stuff of the mind. It takes a little while to settle down, even though I just go up! I think about how good and hot my coffee is, what my dreams were, what I am doing after I meditate, or my favorite worry. So, I might use the technique of Mindfulness to let my mind know I’m watching it and see what it’s up to. If it is something that I need to think about, I save it for after I meditate. Then, when I remember why I’m sitting, I open the window of my mind. I lean forward into the freshness of pure space, beyond the details of my life. I feel the openness and allow this sensation to grow naturally. It is a process of allowing, of gently and gradually opening, like a flower that closes up at night and reopens in the morning. It opens directly into the light. We also open to the light of this purity, this spontaneous presence, this mutual recognition that moves one into the experience of oneness. Once this tiny opening occurs, the light can fill the entire space within the person meditating and even beyond the boundaries of the body. The heart wants to join in on this process which happens quite magically and on it’s own accord. It is a tall blessing to be received with deep gratitude, and it continues from the simple analogy of a flower opening, to an ethereal trip into the space of the divine heart, into the world beyond words, into pure love, pure divine light. It is ablaze with drops of fire, hot in becoming, but cool like liquid diamonds, when they drop blissfully into the heart. It is sublime, it is wondrous, it is the “raison d’etre” of the meditator. The invisible chain of the mind, now unbound, allows a direct connection to the source of life itself, what all life is, in it’s most natural essence.
Written by Karen Ferguson
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Windows are used for many things; protection from the elements, to allow in light, to open for some fresh air, or to afford a view of nature. Windows can be painted on a wall, to give a sense of openness in a closed room.
If I were to compare the difference of looking through a window and actually going outside, I would be able to feel the elements, the sun or rain, the temperature and the time of day. I would be able to touch what I could only see through the window. I could take a breath of fresh air. So, actually going outside would bring the difference between observing the snow falling from behind the window, and literally feeling the snow falling and melting on my cheeks and eye lashes. On snow days, most children want to go outside as opposed to sitting by a window, watching all day. A fast sled ride down a hill, a good snowball fight with your friend. Catching a snowflake on your tongue is a real experience. Then, come inside and warm up with some hot cocoa.
The manifestation of appearances is the actual presence-ing of the appearance within the experiencer. Given that, let’s take another look at our window. We are so accustomed to windows that we hardly notice them unless they are broken or open when it’s raining. I often wonder about pure awareness, like a window without glass, naked. That experience of sheer beingness, the simmered down essence of who I am at the very core of my being, that experience of unconditional love. Love of the Self, or the infinite, radiant and simple love of what is. I wonder as I look through the looking glass, what my experience would be if I could break through the window, smash my concepts, my prejudices, my judgmental, obsessive, meandering mind. I wonder what it would feel like to fly thru the window and merge with my own truest reality. But, on the windowsill of my mind, I sit. Watching, while the other kids play in the snow..
What, I ask, would it be like to see directly into pure awareness, with no boundaries to my vision, inside or out. Pondering this, I notice that a certain holding on is erased. I relax. I might now sense the life in every appearance, I might see things for what they really are, and feel part of this mandala of my life, or my circumstances in the moment. As I gaze into the clarity of the light before me, a divine experience of beauty arises. A feeling of luminous, absolute stillness pulsates within, something like a top that is spinning so fast that it looks perfectly still. I feel a warm glowing energy. Thru the windowless window, a frame which was holding the picture or projection of my mind, disappears . Now, what is manifesting is part of me, I am not just sitting and watching, witnessing from behind this old pane of glass. There is no glass, no window, and nothing but clear and unbounded skies ahead. Windows open and close. Life begins and ends, people come and go, and the ever changing mandala glistens, like snow falling gently, creating a blanket of white light and peace. Being so, the heart, magically, finds her home.
written by Karen Ferguson