"A Meditation Session"

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by Montana Keith, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Montana Keith

    Montana Keith Member

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    Keith's Meditation Session of Sunday morning, February 1, 2009:

    I don't know if this is really a success story or not. However, I thought I'd do my best at putting into words how my meditation session unfolded this morning. My writing style here reflects the “constantly moving and shifting inner world" that I am experiencing as I meditate at this stage of my life. Anyway, welcome to my inner world . . .

    . . . listening to LifeFlow 2 . . . repeating my mantra of: “whoosh, whoosh . . . hush, hush . . Breathing in . . . releasing and letting go on the out breath . . . noticing thoughts appearing . . . noticing bodily sensations—felt senses—that are present . . . tightness in middle upper back . . . “interested curiosity” . . . mmm, I wonder what I'm holding onto . . . thoughts began to link and connect . . . I repeat a line from my personal creed: “I am surrendering and letting go of my will—allowing God to express in and through me now. I am one with God.” . . . God??? . . . mmm . . . more “thought linkage” . . . I wonder who read my post on “Finding the Real You” . . . 75 views, no comments . . . Oh, back to my mantra . . . breath . . . let go . . . whoosh, whoosh . . . hush, hush . . . allowing, releasing, letting go . . . whoosh, whoosh . . . imagining images of light breezes playing and dancing through leaves of trees . . . of ripples of wind moving gracefully through empty fields of prairie grass . . . breath in and out . . . whoosh, whoosh . . . hush, hush (be still) . . . whoosh . . . hush (be still) . . . noticing tightness in upper middle back . . . itch on left ear . . . whoosh, whoosh . . . hush, hush . . . noticing the “usual” band of tightness--that pressing weight of “loose density” on the right side of my chest at heart level--has moved upward . . . mmm, how very interesting . . . and has “settled???” in my upper chest . . . Oh, back to: whoosh, whoosh . . . hush, hush . . . and I ask this “new” upper chest location bodily sense: “How would you like me . . . “me,” who's this me that chooses to speak??? . . . to be for and with you now? . . . Rumi's poem “The Guesthouse” . . . Gendlin's comment: “I'm the house, not the host.” . . . wondering again . . . who is this “me” who speaks??? . . . the host??? . . .

    I decide to finish this meditation session with the “focusing process” . . . noticing and allowing “guests” to be . . . whoosh, whoosh . . . hush, hush . . . noticing and allowing possible linkages between bodily sensations and beliefs . . . I wonder . . . hush, hush . . . whoosh, whoosh . . . sitting with and allowing ALL my “guests” simply to be . . . Here's some of my “guests” on my guest list this morning:

    --the “teacher,” the one who is writing now, the one who is constantly wondering: “How might I best share and teach this?”

    --the “sad & wounded part,” I feel the sorrow sitting heavily in my upper chest area.

    --the “resistant part,” It is manifesting as tightness and stuckness in my upper middle back.

    --the “criticizing part,” “Oh, you're never going to get this. Besides, you're not doing it 'right' anyway. You're 'suppose' to be meditating now. But no, you've slipped into focusing. AND, I don't think you're even doing that right.

    --the “hopeless part,” “Maybe this criticizing part is right. Maybe 'I' will never get 'it' . . . whatever 'it' is.”

    --the “smiling encouraging part,” “Oh, you're doing just fine. Don't be so hard on yourself. You can do this. You ARE doing this.

    --the “fearful scared part,” “If I just let go won't I die? What will happen to me? What will happen to ALL of us? HOLD ON FOR DEAR LIFE!!! We don't want to die, do we?

    --the “uncertain not-knowing part,” “I don't know . . . mmm . . . I just don't know.”

    . . . hush, hush . . . whoosh, whoosh . . . Oh—as Rumi wrote in his poem “The Guesthouse,” what “a crowd of sorrows” . . . I'm noticing and allowing . . . but, am I welcoming too??? . . . mmm, I don't know about that . . . am I willing for this moment . . . for this moment only . . . to simply step away from the central position—the central throne—and allow God . . . I don't need to explain. Just believe, just imagine: a state, a Being, a personality-like warmth of LOVE, of TRUTH, of LIGHT of acceptance, of unconditional love and warm friendship . . . my LORD, my LORD . . . hush, hush . . . whoosh, whoosh . . . You know, if ALL my guests are trying to speak at once, then, there's only mass confusion . . . I wonder . . . “Who most needs the 'talking stick' now? . . . asking all my “guests” if for this moment, just for this moment, we can all sit in silent expectancy, in patience, and just wait for “someone” or “something” to . . . I don't really know what I'm trying to say . . . to ALL allow this “part,” this “something” here whose story needs to be heard in this moment . . . to provide ALL our listening presence . . . so that in hearing and allowing this “story” to be told, “next steps” will appear for ALL of us to move forward . . . waiting patiently . . . allowing . . . hush, hush . . . whoosh, whoosh . . . and now . . . noticing and allowing the “part” in me, this “something” in me of: “uncertainty” of “not-knowing” to have the . . . whoosh, whoosh . . . “talking stick” . . . of sensing that in this moment ALL parts of me are willingly being quiet . . . are being still . . . hush, hush . . . whoosh, whoosh . . . allowing “it,” welcoming “it” to the best of ALL our ability in this moment . . . of acknowledging and accepting that “NOT-KNOWING” is okay . . . It's okay to be “uncertain” . . . whoosh, whoosh . . . hush, hush . . . be still and know I am God . . . whoosh, whoosh . . . hush, hush . . .

    And as this session draws to a close, I take a few moments to acknowledge and thank all the “guests” who participated in this process. I'll be back. I promise. I'll be back.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
  2. bashmaki

    bashmaki Member

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    Oh My!

    Keith,
    You've done a wonderful job of describing what it is like to get some semblance of order to a mind (house) over-run with thought (guests).

    I read somewhere that the average mind has something near 50 or 60 thousand thoughts a day. It is no wonder it takes a while to calm the darn thing down.

    Using the "talking stick" as a bargaining chip is clever I must say.

    Many of the points of resistance you speak of I can relate to at some point or other. It is amazing how the ego will use anything at its disposal to talk us into stopping the madness of silence within

    gus
     
  3. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    For those who think "experienced meditators" don't have meditation sessions like this anymore, I can assure you that I still have trouble getting of the thought train that Keith so accurately describes here.

    Sometimes we are so full with thoughts, energy, emotions.

    The thing is, people think that this happens during meditation, but in fact, this happens all through the day, only when we sit still and listen during meditation do we notice it.

    And in time, you learn to get better at stepping back, looking at your thoughts and emotions from a distance. Creating space in your mind. And then you realise that this space was there from the beginning, that you just tried to fill it with the chatter going on inside your head.

    Thank you for showing us your inside Keith, it made me recognise myself :)
     
  4. bashmaki

    bashmaki Member

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    Good points Edwin
     
  5. Montana Keith

    Montana Keith Member

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    The "Ultimate" Purpose of Meditation

    After my meditation session on Sunday morning and of becoming somewhat aware of the many "guests" that were present and vying for attention, I was reminded of words I had been directed to by fellowing Project Meditation forum members Maribo and Bhavya.

    The words coming from people from different religious traditions spoke to me in that they are ALL so similar. The first excerpt is one by Swami Durgananda (Sally Kempton). Maribo was kind enough to share the following link: Sally Kempton, meditation teacher, Swami Durgananda

    Swami Muktananda said that in the same way, it doesn't matter what a strong meditator you are, how upright your posture, how skillful your ability to still the mind and focus. If you don't know where you are going or what you are supposed to be meditating on, you will take yourself in the opposite direction to where you really want to go. Right at the beginning of meditation, you need to understand very clearly the nature of the Self that is your goal and how you can recognize it.

    When I first heard this story, I was galvanized! It was the clue I'd been looking for. I began to ask the question, "What is the Self? How can I recognize it?" Over the years, I have found that this willingness to question our experience and to explore the nature of our own Self, looking for its footprints behind the thickets of thoughts and feelings, is the single most important effort we can make in meditation.

    The ultimate goal of meditation is to experience the full unfoldment of our own pure Consciousness, the inner state of luminosity, love, and wisdom that the Indian tradition calls the inner Self or the Heart. (A Buddhist might call it Buddha nature; a Christian might call it Spirit.) In fact, we want to do more than experience that state. We want to realize that we are that--not just a body or a personality, but pure Consciousness, pure Awareness. By that definition, a successful meditation is one in which we enter the Self--even if just for a moment. For this to happen, we need to approach each session of meditation with a conscious understanding that the Self is our goal and with an intention to experience it. Our intention gives directionality to our consciousness. It's like aiming an arrow. Yet even as we aim our attention toward the Self, we need to remember that we are the Self. As Ramana Maharshi said, "Knowing the Self means being the Self." When we forget this--that the Self is not only the goal of our meditation but also who we really are--we inevitably find ourselves stuck in one of the countless byways in the inner world.


    (An excerpt from Swami Durgananda's (Sally Kempton) book:
    The Heart of Meditation: Pathways to a Deeper Experience)

    In an earlier thread Bhavya mentioned how Amma and her teachings have spoken to her so strongly. Amma, full name: Mātā Amritanandamayī Devi, was born on September 27, 1953. She is an Indian spiritual leader revered as a saint by her followers, who also know her as "Amma", "Ammachi" or "Mother". She is widely respected for her humanitarian activities and is known as "the hugging saint". Her website is: Amma.org

    In reading some of her teachings, I came across this statement:

    Amma always points out that the purpose of one's life is to realize who we really are. She says, "By realizing our own Self we become full, with nothing more to gain in life. Life becomes perfect."

    The words of the above two teachers are so similar to the following words by the Trappist monk Thomas Merton:

    The secret of my identity is hidden in the love and mercy of God.

    But whatever is in God is really identical with Him, for His infinite simplicity admits no division and not distinction. Therefore I cannot hope to find myself anywhere except in Him.

    Ultimately the only way that I can be myself is to become identified with Him in Whom is hidden the reason and fulfillment of my existence.

    Therefore there is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace and my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God. If I find Him I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find Him.

    But although this looks simple, it is in reality immensely difficult. In fact, if I am left to myself it will be utterly impossible. For although I can know something of God’s existence and nature by my own reason, there is no human and rational way in which I can arrive at that contact, that possession of Him, which will be the discovery of Who He really is and of Who I am in Him.

    That is something that no man can ever do alone.

    Nor can all the men and all the created things in the universe help him in this work.

    The only One Who can teach me to find God is God, Himself, Alone.


    (New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton, pp. 37-38)
     
  6. filly33

    filly33 Member

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    I wish I could watch myself breath, but the sad truth is that I breath as I watch.

    Mitch
     
  7. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    The weirdest thing is that those who have experienced these moments for themselves, know what they are talking about and basically say the same, only in different words from different cultures.

    The followers of the awakened ones don't know how quickly to turn the teachings of these people into a dogmatised, rigid belief system.

    A while ago I saw an interview with the Dalai Lama, where they asked him if he was enlightened.
    "Me ? No..."

    At that moment I was somewhat surprised by my reaction, actually being disappointed with his honesty. Now I start to wonder, what the difinition of enlightenment is. I like "awakened" better.

    I don't care if the Dalai Lama is awakened or not anymore. I know that he is living to be the best he is, and if this is it, what more can I expect from him.
    He is an example for all, and that is an increadibly high standard to live by, especially when he really hasn't awakened.
    More importantly, I was trying to make a religion out of the Dalai Lama, when I should have tried to follow his example and live by it.

    Only those really deeply touched and awakened by the teachers see the real truth, the real beauty of their words, because they experienced that which the words are pointing at. They too can become teachers, unlike those who claim to have awakened, and try to teach from the incomplete being known as "self" or "ego". Unfortunately all belief systems are taken over by ego after a while, and the signs are easy to identify. A search for power, large sums of money being charged, sexually frustrated "teachers", rules, a firm belief in the "fact" that they are the only true religion, and many more examples can be found. We can only become awakened when we stop believing, and start experiencing, or as the Buddha said, " Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. "

    I take great comfort from the fact that no matter the rigid belief system these people were born in, the experience is the same for all people who awaken.

    The Universal Truth is of a higher purpose than dogma, and will transcend it effortlessly, without struggle or effort.

    All we have to do is know the nature of the Self. I am searching in the same direction Keith, and I feel blessed to be surrounded by people all over the world who look for the same.
     
  8. Montana Keith

    Montana Keith Member

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    "Thank You"

    Edwin,
    The words you wrote here spoke to me. Thank you for taking time to write them. They just seemed so wise and sensible.

    I think you nailed it right on the head when you wrote:

    Unfortunately all belief systems are taken over by ego after a while, and the signs are easy to identify. A search for power, large sums of money being charged, sexually frustrated "teachers", rules, a firm belief in the "fact" that they are the only true religion, and many more examples can be found. We can only become awakened when we stop believing, and start experiencing, or as the Buddha said, "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. "

    And, you said it well when you wrote:

    I take great comfort from the fact that no matter the rigid belief system these people were born in, the experience is the same for all people who awaken.

    It is so affirming and hopeful that regardless of the religious tradition in which they begin, people who are humble and are awakening arrive at pretty much the same realizations.

    I hope this day has been a good one for you. How's the weather in Holland, my friend? --Keith :)
     
  9. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    :) Winter has been dominating the Dutch landscape for more than a month here, and even tho the temperature by day is just above freezing point, the nights are still cold, and every now and then snow falls in between the rain and the grey days without rain or sun. I hope the cold is not too bad where you live ?

    Coming back to religion, it has always been full of pointers towards the Truth. Take the Bible, even tho it was not written down properly for almost a 100 years, even tho the medieval church had many bibles from which they took what they could use, and discarded the rest, even tho at some point all those different bibles were put together, it still is full of pointers from Jesus in how to awaken !
    They have been put in the wrong context by people who didn't understand properly, but they can still be found !

    For instance, it is possible to make the blind man see again.
    Not by healing a man's eye's, but by healing a man's mind !
    Before he was shown the Truth, he could be considered blind to it, but after having seen it, he was awakened and could never go back ! Talk about an eye-opener !

    Of course there is always the danger of people interpreting the Bible to their own good use, and in that light, the words of the Buddha come into the picture again, to trust only the words that resonate with your inner self.
    Through our connection with God, or the Universe, or the Divine Matrix, call it what you want, we instinctively know the Truth when we see it.

    In our church it was always called the quiet voice, as it was oftan overshouted by thoughts ( and nowadays I am used to calling those thoughts ego ), but no matter how hard the ego shouts, you can always hear that quiet voice, telling you that you are not acting right.

    Still not there yet, but we are growing :)
     

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