At the little creek at the edge of town, the wind blew and the clouds flew, but there was hardly a flutter of thought. Some days, like this one, meditation seems superfluous; other days it takes longer for the mind to yield to the stillness of attention.
There was an explosion of beauty, making the magnificent cumulus like nuclear bombs in the brain.
I haven't seen a kite falcon hovering over the fields in months. "Development" has begun around the new, ugly courthouse, and their habitat is being destroyed. Are they gone for good now?
It's become imperative that we make the space for a few minutes of stillness and peace each day. Without doing so, the world overwhelms one, or one ceases to care.
It's not that we must first turn our backs on the world and completely disengage from it, as a swami said to me recently. But the continuing focus on the external, which is the essence of science and technology, is only making things worse.
Many scientists, technologists, and even so-called philosophers would have you believe that scientific knowledge and technological advances will solve man's problems and make life wonderful. It is pure wishful thinking. Technology is only as intelligent as the people who use it.
Essentially, meditation is the ending the observer and time. It is the art of allowing passive awareness to ignite the flame of attention.
That has nothing to do with watching one's breath or any other method. Rather, it's the natural outcome of watching the watcher, along with everything else, until the judger/chooser ceases. Then there is only what is, the movement of thought.
When the observer ends and passive observation is sustained, attention gathers, without effort or concentration, into an intense flame.
Once lit, the flame of attention incinerates each thought and emotion as they arise, completely quieting the mind. A state of insight and reverence ensues.
The hardest but most important thing is to not look past what arises in the present one millimeter, but simply remain attentively aware of what is happening outside and inside without any reaction. But when one does so, the mind-as-thought falls silent, and the portal of the present opens to the infinite.
Being in beauty without the filter of symbols, memories and associations opens the mind/brain to a state beyond description. It is the wellspring of peace, creation and love.
Why does the flame of attention need to be relit every day? Does illumination mean that it doesn't, that the brain remains quiet, anchored in attention to what is, never again caught in the cacophony of thought?
If you look for the truth outside yourself,
it gets farther and farther away.
Today, walking alone,
I meet him everywhere I step.
He is the same as me,
yet I am not him.
Only if you understand it in this way
will you merge with the way things are.
Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He welcomes dialogue. firstname.lastname@example.org
Published with permission of the author. All copyright remains with the author.
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