I have hesitated to begin a cycle of meditations based in something new or like meditation-bling. The reason is two-fold. 1. If a meditation practice is bearing fruit, then any moment is sparkly with awareness. And if a meditation practice is being integrated into one’s daily sense of being, then bright and shiny with insight is the quality of the day, serenity, joy, beauty, awe, emptiness and empathy are present as well. 2. Modern emphasis on quantity rather than quality is a bane. How many techniques one has received or participated in mean nothing if the essence behind the technique is not understood, integrated, and embodied.
When offering the OM AH HUM cycle, I said that this or any other technique that has been a long focus in our meditations could be done for a year or more. One would be wise to do so and it would be worthwhile. Yet, new or something seemingly new is sought in modern western culture because of untamed mental and emotional bodies. Nonetheless, to stick with the same meditation technique -if that technique suits one’s point of cultivation- is vital and necessary.
With this in mind, I am attempting to create a middle ground that feels new or fresh to those who need that excitement or enticement in order to stay with meditation training. At the same time, I will highlight or emphasize that which has been part of our meditation training since The Practice of Living Awareness Entry practice and its fourteen steps. That is the senses and sensation.
Sensation is a primary mechanism for distraction, wantonness, binging and hedonism, and general checking-out through numbing. Overstimulation is based in the senses including how thinking or emotion feel. Yet, if used with mindfulness, the senses and sensation is a flawless threshold to ever truer and wider Awareness.
Sensation is a unified experience. Sensation is also generally experienced superficially by the mental equipment of the personality. The personality’s need to control its small reality uses the immediacy of sensations as a way to direct one toward immediate gratification and away from immediate disappointment. As a result, one ricochets between these opposites throughout the day and in one’s relationships. However, if one drops into a sensation a little, the surface of reaction belies depth of emotions, felt-sense intuitive knowing, and possibilities that reactiveness can never provide.
Yes, quite often the practitioner who engages the initial layers under the superficial reactions will come face to face with superficiality. Be brace, my friends. False-face is false-face; might as well understand that. Then one can move on to more truth of being.
The senses and sensation are a gateway into Awareness that anyone can approach and use. As one deepens beyond the superficial, one discovers more empathy. That is then taken into the bodhi Path. Sensation is core to Zen (the beauty of the perfect cherry blossom or a tea ceremony), and to Tantra (where everything is Path).