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Last Updated: Feb 8th, 2021 - 11:52:32 

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Negation Is the Essence of Meditation
By Martin LeFevre
Feb 8, 2021, 11:54am

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Whether one calls it meditation, mindfulness, or simply awareness, learning the art of undivided observation is essential to during inwardly alive during this dark age.

The human mind, for tens of thousands of years, has cultivated an accumulative brain. The human adaptive pattern involves noticing and storing all the information about our surroundings that we can. From that storehouse, the mind consciously forms and recombines mental symbols, accruing useful knowledge and skills to exploit vastly different environments. No other animal on earth does this.

This accumulative tendency does not stop with useful information however. The brain records virtually all experiences, as well as every fear, hurt and grudge, real or imagined. That content forms the dark core of individual and collective darkness.

Conditioning is not a given; the mind/brain has the capacity to remain young, pliable and innocent. But one has to diligently and playfully work at it, or conditioning, with its increasing accumulation of ‘dark matter,’ steadily narrows the mind, stultifies the heart, and limits the capacities of the brain.

A shift in consciousness begins the moment the infinite regression of the separate observer ends in passive attentiveness. Then, simply observing without judgment, analysis or choice, the accumulative mind/brain begins to empty itself of the unnecessary content of memory.

That includes images about oneself and others; automatic associations triggered by words, sounds or smells; and ideas and ideologies about ‘my family,’ ‘my town,’ and ‘my country.’ Psychological memory is inherently divisive, and erodes the spiritual capacity of the human being.

For the mind’s habitual accumulative pattern to be reversed, and the mind and heart to empty useless and destructive content every day (we’re all subject to PTSD to one degree or another), the automatic mechanism of separation as the observer has to end.

There is no method to doing that; one simply has to energetically but passively watch the movement of one’s own thoughts and emotions, and the habit of separation as the observer (the wellspring of self-centeredness) ceases, without effort, will or concentration.

The fog had begun to burn off, then returned to wrap around the hills and linger over the fields. As it began to lift again, the mist refracted the light in such a way that every twig and leaf stood out with tremendous vividness.

Despite the earth-hugging blanket, the morning was mild, and there was little dampness or chill. I sat without discomfort under a huge sycamore, peering out over the fields toward the enshrouded canyon and foothills beyond town.

The visibility was about 150 meters. Suddenly for the first time in over a year, I saw a kite, a gracile type of falcon, right at the edge of the fog. It flew 20 meters or so, and then hovered, repeating the pattern a half dozen times until it disappeared into the mist.

The sight of the kite’s exquisitely graceful flight at the edge of the world produced a reverential feeling. Suddenly the things around me, which had appeared flat and colorless, came alive. It felt as though one was watching an ancient earth with the eyes of everyone who had ever felt its mystery.

The little creek, completely dry during the summer and fall months, is running full again. For the Native Americans who made this area their home, the return of the water would have been an important event. When we are deeply aware of the earth, and look with innocent eyes, we glimpse the land through the eyes of all people who have lived upon the Earth and loved it as few moderns do.

Standing slowly and rising to my full height, the entire panorama lay before me. I was jerked back to 'reality' by the sight of ‘monster houses’ at the mouth of the canyon. This town has had the sense to preserve the canyon, but it has not seen fit to protect its viewshed from becoming the private reserve of a wealthy few.

A welcome sun began to warm my back. It quickly dispelled the fog over the fields and hills. I stood still for a few more minutes, feeling grateful for having been given the capacity and time to receive such a benediction.


Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He welcomes dialogue.

Published with permission of the author. All copyright remains with the author.

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