Yesterday I decided that I would once again give the Buddhist philosophy some air in my life. Let’s take a minute and talk about what that means. I am a Christian. Part of me believes that no matter what, I always will be. Buddhism is a religion but it’s also a philosophy and way of life. At this present moment, I find myself starting a journey into the philosophy of life aspect. I feel that it much more clearly resembles the faith that I already have. Practice, however, I am out of. It’s been years since I have meditated with any sort of regularity, and to be quite honest, it shows.
Today I sat down with myself in silence (ok the baby cried out once), and began what I hope to be a daily practice of analytical meditation. Analytical meditation focuses on dealing with reality. It encourages the meditator (yeah I’m making that a word), to watch their thoughts as they go by and take notice of loops and ‘thought packets’ if you will. This type of meditation has never been my favorite as I find it much more relaxing to focus on tugging the mind away from thought. But, I am beginning again and I must begin by acknowledging that I have allowed loops to run for years. And they have created neural paths in my mind much like that grass landing in a parking lot where there is no path, but people continue to walk there and create a path. For the grass to re-grow I have to acknowledge that the path I am walking doesn’t really exist and notice when I take that way, so that I plan a different route. Alright, that sounds more fruity than I was hoping for. How about some Dr. Phil type talk? (Insert slight accent) “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.” Ok, that did not succeed in any way to make this less fruity…
Anyways, today as I was meditating I found that my mind is actually quite skilled still at thoughtlessness. At silence. It was pretty easy to not think. This, however, disappoints me because I do want to solve the looping and now my mind refuses to focus. It’s strange because when I am not aware my mind falls into the loops quite quickly and it’s really difficult to pull myself out, but when I actually want to focus on the loops, nowhere. I did take note of a couple things though. The few times mind began down a path that would lead me to circular thinking, I noticed that my facial muscles tightened. Releasing their tension released the thought pattern. Also, I noticed that writing is perhaps getting in the way. I found myself captioning each sensation in an attractive sounding way and planning on writing it just like that. Turning my mind away from that loop was the greatest amount of effort I had to exert. I also noticed that this sounds very similar to auditing in Scientology though they approach the solution in very different ways. Meditation’s end goal is to recognize the signs of thought ruts and train the mind to avoid getting stuck. In Scientology, as I understand it, an auditor watches neural scans to see what thoughts are taking you out of the range of clarity. They then facilitate as you dwell on the thoughts and repeatedly discuss them until they lose their ability to move you. Like that ever worked.
My goal for this right now is simple. Turn off the autopilot. Presence in it’s most pure form. I don’t want to miss a thing. Dvesha and I are going to have to have a falling out.