It could seem that one’s meditation practice is done for oneself. Yet, if one’s practice is bearing fruit, one’s way with the world, one’s day, and everyone in it will become more thought-full, heart-full, kind, respectful, and selfless. If any of these modifications or improvements transpire, then the world is eased from one person’s ignorance and self-centered self-importance.
The truth is that there is only this moment. The past is gone and the future does not exist. In this moment, you and I create reality. The meditation being posted occurred before I watched the documentary, Seeds, and the meditation is simple, true to moment, participatory in the Now. But, as I watched Seeds, I thought of all the ways that I contribute to the degradation of our world and the ways that I contribute to its health and well being. Meditation has made me understand that responsibility is not an option or a luxury. It is mine to live and live from every moment, and that’s inspiring.
May you be inspired too. Our world, our home, and all the beings in it, need humanity to care, to be inspired, and to live each moment from the heart and a peaceful mind.
Seed, the untold story, is an independent lens documentary on PBS rivets one in both fear and hope. Only 4% of edible-food seed still exists. Biodiversity has been hybridized out, GMO poisoned, or native and traditional seeds bought and destroyed from rural farmers around the world. This documentary is beautiful to watch and shocking. Start growing clean heirloom seeds in your garden and harvest them for next year’s crop.
Watch this compelling documentary. It is available on PBS to members until July 17. Otherwise it can be streamed on YouTube and Amazon.
When the profound is common, the common is profound. This awakeness, this awareness, this delight and empathy dances through one’s mind and emotions such that any moment – even every moment – is realized as far more than what it seems.
With that recognition, the layers of reality that are false, self-made, or societally constructed begin to deconstruct. It is then one’s choice: reconstruct the false or go forward in non-construction. Non-construction is the freshness of any given moment.
All of this begins with “noticing the usually not noticed,” something that was introduced in the Entry practice of The Practice of Living Awareness. Like all meditation instructions, noticing will serve us until full, complete, perfect enlightenment is the state. Until anutarasamyaksambodhi, we notice and discover the more and subtle, the profound in the common and the common in the profound.
In the Entry practice of The Practice of Living Awareness, practitioners learn various facets of the path of meditation.
Smile: meditation is the greatest gift that one can give oneself. Its results will bring benefit to oneself, others in this life and all lives to come. Meditation practices also cause one to step more lightly in one’s life on Earth. Smile. There is so much that we don’t know, and don’t know that we don’t know it.
Settle: One’s life is a rat race. Some part of us is always in motion, even when sleeping. One’s life, responsibilities, societal and cultural realities conflate with self-made beliefs, shoulds, woulds, coulds, and what-ifs. Learning to settle, with a long-slow-deep breath is crucial to the possible transformation of being a rat in the maze of one’s life to being a caring, kind, respectful human being. Settle. Allow the moment to simply be, and for you to experience the simplicity that underlies each and every moment.
Breathe: Being human offers the possibility of self-awareness. Becoming conscious of breath, breathing, of the cycles of in and out, coming and going, arising and falling, is the beginning of self-awareness. The mere fact that one is rarely aware of breathing displays the underlying truth of non-awareness. In The Practice, we are encouraged to “notice the usually not noticed;” not with pettiness or criticism in mind but with wonder and open-mindedness. If someone truly begins to “follow the breath,” much of the arising and falling of one’s emotional content will begin to be noticed. Personalization of almost everything will be recognized. Ascribing and projecting onto others and things and bringing the past into the present will come into one’s view. If one breathes with these new illuminations, the transformation of behaviors and thoughts is probable. Without breathing, self-deflation will result. But, since meditation practice is engaged for truth, one can begin to breathe truth, settle into it, smile with it and one’s aspiration, and newness will result.
Soften and open: A seed must soften in order for its shell to release the life within. A woman’s cervix must soften and open in order to give birth to the child within her womb. A society must soften to the needs of all its members in order to open to the ideas and solutions that will serve the civility of society and civilization. In meditation practice, one must soften the ego and its efforting in order to experience the openness of heart, of mind, and Awareness. One will experience that such softening serves off the cushion in relationships, with circumstances, and with one’s self. In all cases, softening allows the new or fresh to present or be known.
The advancing meditation practice offered here on BlazingLight is born from the ground of the Entry practice of Living Awareness, just as The Practice is born from the classical teaching and training in meditation offered by the Great Ones.
Anyone is well served by the Entry practice which can be found on its own blog with Steve Kramer guiding most of the meditations. Martha Henry MacDonald and Carol Martin contribute regularly. Jump to there with LivingAwarenessMeditation.net.
For this meditation, we are brought to the natural state. What is that? Well, if one is hungry, then it seems that the natural state is hunger. But, is that so? What is hunger? Who is hungry? Who is the I that says, “I am hungry?”
If one enters (softens and opens to) the experience of “being hungry,” and then notices the usually not noticed sensations, drives, desires, boredom or excitement, and so forth that are in the experience, one will discover that – likely one is not really hungry. The body might need some sustenance or not, but it is likely that desire, boredom, and distraction are driving the moment.
What then is the natural state in a moment of supposed hunger?
Repeatedly in these meditation posts, the relationship of shamatha and vipashyana has been highlighted. Serenity, stability, and alert acute simplicity are words that speak to shamatha. Clarity of understanding, truth in perceiving, Awareness in the moment, and penetrating or direct insight are words that speak to vipashyana. These two are inseparable. They are intertwined, cannot be divorced from one another, and are always dancing. Shamatha produces or makes possible clarity, truth in perceiving, Awareness in the moment. Yet, shamatha – if being experienced for its simplicity, alert acute serenity and stability – is vipashyana. And, vipashyana will always have the character of true true: stable, incontrovertible, acute, and simple. Being incontrovertible is not due to dogma or blind faith but because vipashyana is non-deceptive.
How is the experience within vipashyana non-deceptive? It is so precisely because of its ground: serenity, acuity, and simplicity: in a word – shamatha.
This dance, this co-emergence, is flawless: thus always perfect. To bring these attributes of one’s practice off the cushion and 1/2 hour of sitting into the 23. 5 other hours of one’s day infuses daily reality with truth, simplicity, serenity, and direct perception.