When 2008 turned into 2009, I was sitting on my cushion meditating. I started a meditation practice in earnest about a year ago and got well into it before life intruded. That, of course, is no excuse, but lately I have been feeling the need to get back to the cushion.
When I was recycling some of my old Facebook posts to get myself back into the habit of writing, I could feel in my words the effect of the meditation. There was a spaciousness to my thoughts and writing, an freedom, a very loose grip, a long leash…in short, I could hear echoed in what I was writing the freedom that was taking hold in my mind and body.
This freedom is a very subtle, personal one, difficult to express yet completely known; it is actually one and the same, the feeling and the practice, entering the role of “the witness.” To paraphrase Lao Tzu (again), that which can be named is not the way. While difficult to pin down in words, and probably better not to (release expectations or the need to categorize, label, and organize), the practice of meditation bestows something to the sitter. I miss that “something,” I need that “something” again.
Our brains are plastic and I am certain my neural grooves have been re-wired and re-routed over the years of martial arts, yoga, meditation, and exploration into altered realms of consciousness and awareness. Divination, intuition, dreamwork, tantra, music, dance. Sex, love, friendship, relating, solitude, exploration, journeying, challenges, new experiences, crisis, loss, sadness, ambiguity, ambivalence, presence.
I keep seeing the cushion in my mind. It is just a matter of time before I sit. It’s amazing how everyday we “sit” but to sit with intention of non-doing is another kettle of fish. When I try to approach it logically, it dissolves before me and I can not grasp this dichotomy–to sit with the intention of non-doing. Isn’t that an oxymoron? Perhaps, but the experience of it is anything but.