There are so many layers to a meditation practice; so many discoveries. It’s kind of like when erosion happens on the limestone cliffs in England. Jurassic era dinosaur bones are revealed. Who knew they were there?!
Similarly, as one sits settled, resting the mind, emotions, and body, opening into the natural luminous expansive emptiness of mind-awareness, one is effecting an erosion of the habits that normally occupy one’s mind, titillate and entice one’s emotions, and frenetically engage one’s physical body. One is sitting: not eating, drinking, walking, talking, chasing, or driving. Sitting in tranquil abiding, the roller coaster of one’s emotions is not being ridden. Sitting and resting the cognitive mind in the simplicity of the moment and of mind itself, the activities of cogitating, analyzing, ferreting about for the right word, or being studious over lists of tasks to accomplish or how to do so are also not. Due to all this not-doing, the habits of reference, emotions, activity, and such are being eroded which allows for the discovery of that which IS and is innate: contentment, peace, tranquility, brightness of being, lightness of being, Presence.
Like the waves, wind, and rain on the limestone cliffs, with time and diligence, one’s meditation practice erodes and dissolves the habits that entangle one. Meditation also dissolves the habits that we don’t recognize as habits such as communicating, thinking, sleeping, dressing, and so forth. Through a shamatha practice, we come into a different relationship with the usually not-noticed.
Now, a more peaceful, less anxious and agitated state of being can be lived from. Along with that – and because of it, insight into these habits, into their feed-back loop to the sense of self and the stories we tell ourself about self, reality, possibilities, and our fears all come forward. Insight, discovery, revelations, and realizations result simply because we’ve begun a new habit, that of meditation: shamatha, resting in simple being.