Beginner Meditation Series Week 6
This is the last post in the beginner meditation series. The meditation practices described in this series comprise the 6 primary practices I use to stay dialed in to the present moment. It has been quite a journey for me to get to this point where I feel confident enough in what I have learned to share it publicly for the world to see. After today I will have shared with you all my trusty tools for staying self-aware. They are like air, water, and food for me, I cannot exist without them. Nor would I want to.
Each practice we have done can stand alone as something you work with for an entire meditation. You may find the need to switch between several techniques in one sit. Whatever combo that day takes to find glimpses of the quiet inside, do that, and know it will change day to day or week to week. However you use them, just use them.
The key to a strong and steady meditation practice is not how perfect the practice is. How quiet you can get the mind, nor even how long you can sit. There will be days when the mind is still, hardly a thought, and others where it will not shut up. By now you have probably experienced this during this series. There will be days when you have 30 minutes to give your practice and others where 10 will have to suffice. All of this is okay. It's life. Meditation should not be something that you have to leave your life to do, it should fit nicely wherever you are, in any moment, scheduled or not.
The practice is a fluid and dynamic ever changing experience. It's robustness is in the intention of dropping in to see "what condition your condition is in." As you do this, things will arise. Some challenging and difficult to face, others not so much. You will see once ugly things become beautiful and vice versa. Most importantly you will learn about yourself. About who you really are and what you really want. It is meant to be a life-long journey, so stay the trail.
However you came across this series, I believe you are here because your personal door of perception has begun to crack open. My desire with this project is to help you see a soft warm glow on the other side of that door. There may still be profound darkness around the edges, yet you see the soft warm glow drawing you in. Whatever your specific reasons are, something, some experience has led you to seek and try meditation. Each time you practice it you are opening that door of perception just a little bit more. Until one day you choose to fully embrace the practice and it becomes an unshakable part of who you are. Perhaps for some of you that day is today, for others there may be many more sits to get there. Whenever that day happens, I urge you to take some time to reflect, journal about the differences you see in who you are now compared to who you were before taming the beast that is the train of thought.
Now for today's practice. This is the one I use the most during my "formal" sitting time. I also hear from my students that it can be the most challenging to do. Seeking the space between the thoughts is tough if you are particularly worried or stressed out. It might help to remember that it too is a fluid and dynamic space. Sometimes small and nearly imperceptible, other times almost intimidatingly huge. I have had moments in the space where I realized how profound and deep it could be and in a reflexive grabbing I sought the train of thought, a habitual comfort zone or pattern, or perhaps the ego fearing dissolution and reaching out to hang on to its existence... Whatever the reason, returning to the train of thought simply made it more apparent that I was indeed enjoying the space between.
So, when you find that space, enjoy it. Breathe it in and out, watch it expand. When it disappears behind the next thought simply seek it again. It will always be there, just like there is a space between each car on a train and between each train on a track, there is a space between every thought. If you focus there, if you seek it, it will emerge. The more you seek the more you will find, the easier it will become.
In the recording this week I guide you to relaxed breath and in finding the space between the thoughts. Enjoy!
I have enjoyed sharing these meditation practices with you. Thank you for checking them out.