A Meditation Liveblog (4)

Subtle Thought

I’ve been looking at this in my practice for some weeks now. Looking at the small thoughts which are often invisible, certainly always under the radar, which guide huge swathes of my (our) thinking. And today was a particularly interesting day for this, because I started the day thrashing around in the ‘undercurrent’. My morning meditation looking merely at thoughts in the undercurrent couldn’t have felt less skilful – I was certainly not observing, however I did notice how cloudy things got when hitting difficult thoughts. Why would that be?

In Alistair’s class this evening it happened again – impatience, zoning-out – two sure-fire indicators of doing and not being. My habitual thinking being what it is, that set off a huge round of…thinking. So I focused instead on my breath, not controlling it but letting it be what it is without my involvement. For me nothing could be more habit-breaking or counter-intuitive. When skating I do whatever I can not to fall over, I latch on to strong colleagues at work, you name it. All to avoid falling or indeed failing. Just letting go of the breath flung me into ‘being’ mode, I saw I was just having a ‘graspy’ day and welcomed in all the feelings associated with that mindstate. I was promptly greeted by a huge sense of well-being, accepting this tendency of mine for the first time. It may have already passed, but if it hasn’t already, it soon will.

Posted by ShoZu

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2 responses to “A Meditation Liveblog (4)

  1. I’ve always found that I meditate better when i have a better sense of self or limit. the confusion of thought is so normal it could be describing some of my attempts. have you worked with any meditations in which you alter your scope of mental perception. That is to say instead of imagining a room you imagine the world, stuff like that. It helped a lot for getting a hand on the under currents of thought because i was able to conceptualize a limit to them.

  2. Марко Фризия

    I realize I have a rather noisy inner life, always thinking and planning things our a few steps ahead and analyzing the recent and remote past. Some of this comes from my work experience in the military. As a gay man, I was very cautious growing up, learning to self-monitor and protect myself (in routine, day-to-day situations that many heterosexuals might take for granted). And I did some of this gay self-monitoring in the Army, always cautious and on guard in a homophobic environment. To a degree, I am addicted to external noise from the Internet, 24-hour availability of information on television, etc. My inner work involves unlearning toxic and exhausting patterns of thought. Maintaining these intense and rather useless thought processes is quite debilitating for me. And I have to realize that disengaging from cultural noise is ok. I have operated on the assumption that I would be less anxious if I am up-to-the-minute in terms of my awareness of current events. I find I am calmer if take breaks from “being informed.” Sometimes while walking, relaxing with my dogs, contemplating a work of art, making love, eating — I am simply being, present and alive to the moment. There is an undercurrent (like an everflowing river) of thought still there. I am still aware of the river, but I let it go by without jumping in it. I appreciate you sharing your spiritual praxis and your inner world. I read this post of yours yesterday. I wanted to respond, but it is sometimes so difficult for me to find adequate words to express and describe my own experiences.

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