Wherever You Go, There You Are: Part II

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Wherever You Go, There You Are: Part II by Mind Map: Wherever You Go, There You Are: Part II

1. 1) Mind Sitting

1.1. What is Mind Sitting?

1.1.1. “Sitting meditation is not a matter of taking on a special body posture, however powerful that may be. It is adopting a particular posture toward the mind. It is mind sitting.”

1.1.2. “Ultimately you can expand your awareness to observe all the comings and goings, the gyrations and machinations of your own thoughts and feelings, perceptions and impulses, body and mind.”

1.1.3. “When your mind and body collaborate in holding body, time, place, and posture in awareness, and remain unattached to having it have to be a certain way, then and only then are you truly sitting.”

1.1.4. “Mindful sitting meditation is not an attempt to escape problems or difficulties into some cut-off “meditative” state of absorption or denial. On the contrary, it is a willingness to go nose to nose with pain, confusion, and loss, if that is what is dominating the present moment, and to stay with the observing over a sustained period of time, beyond thinking.”

1.1.5. “Turn both palms up, being mindful as you do it, you may not a change in energy in the body… Sitting this way embodies receptivity, an openness to what is above… Chinese proverb: As above, so below.”

1.2. Purpose/Intention: Meditation is the work of moments

1.2.1. “Develop a mind that clings to nothing.” – The Diamond Sutra

1.2.1.1. Only then will we be able to see things as they actually are

1.2.1.2. Respond with the full range of our emotional capacity and our wisdom.

1.2.2. What have we yet to learn cannot be forced

1.2.2.1. “You cannot force someone to appreciate the golden light of the low sun shining over fields of wheat or the moonrise in the mountains.”

1.2.2.2. “Best not to speak at all in moments such as these in order to truly enjoy them.”

1.2.3. Contemplating ‘What is my Way?’

1.2.3.1. We don't have to come up with answers, nor think that there has to be one particular answer

1.2.3.2. The intention here is to remain open to not knowing, perhaps allowing yourself to come to the point of admitting, ‘I don’t know’

1.2.3.3. Experimenting with relaxing a bit into not knowing instead of condemning yourself for it.”

1.2.4. You are the protagonist

1.2.4.1. As a human being, you are the central figure in the universal hero’s mythic journey, the fairy tale, the Arthurian quest.

1.2.4.2. For men and women alike, this journey is the trajectory between birth and death, a human life lived.

1.2.4.3. “No one escapes the adventure. We only work with it differently.”

1.2.5. Defense Mechanisms

1.2.5.1. “We may be so defended against feeling the full impact of our emotional pain – whether it be grief, sadness, shame, disappointment, anger or for that matter, even joy or satisfaction – that we unconsciously escape into a cloud of numbness in which we do not permit ourselves to feeling anything at all or know what we are feeling.”

1.2.5.2. “When you can love one tree or one flower or one dog or one place or yourself for one moment, you can find all people, all places, all suffering, all harmony in that one moment. Practicing in this way is not really trying to change anything or get anywhere, although it might look like it on the surface. What it is really doing is uncovering what is always present.”

1.2.5.3. “Your task is not to seek for love; but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi

2. 2) Time

2.1. Usual suspects that challenge us as we meditate:

2.1.1. Boredom

2.1.2. Impatience

2.1.3. Frustration

2.1.4. Fear

2.1.5. Anxiety (worrying about all the things you might be accomplishing if you weren’t meditating)

2.1.6. Fantasy

2.1.7. Memories

2.1.8. Anger

2.1.9. Pain

2.1.10. Fatigue

2.1.11. Grief

2.2. “Meditation has little to do with clock time.”

2.2.1. The sincerity of your effort matters far more than elapsed time

2.2.2. Meditation is about stepping out of minutes and hours and into moments

2.2.3. “Moments are truly dimensionless and therefore infinite.”

2.2.4. “Recall that in a line six inches long, there are an infinite number of points. It turns out that we have plenty of time, if we are willing to hold any moments at all in awareness.”

2.3. “When you really look for me, you will see me instantly -- you will find me in the tiniest house of time.” – Kabir

3. 5) Coming out of Meditation

3.1. As you recognize each impulse, breathe with it for a few moments, and ask yourself, ‘Who has had enough?’

3.2. Try looking into what is behind the impulse. Is it fatigue, boredom, pain, impatience; or is it just time to stop?

3.3. Rather than automatically leaping up or moving on, try lingering with whatever arises out of this inquiry

3.4. When it comes to ending a sitting, soft and gentle (lightly ringing bell) is good, and hard and loud is good (gong). Both remind us to be fully present in moments of transition, that all endings are also beginnings.

4. 4) Visualizing the Mountain and the Lake

4.1. Using the Lake Meditation

4.1.1. Picture in your mind’s eye, a lake

4.1.1.1. Note the water seeks its own level, asks to be contained.

4.1.1.2. The lake may be deep or shallow, blue or green, muddy or clear.

4.1.1.3. With no wind, the lake is flat

4.1.1.4. In winter it freezes, with much movement below

4.1.2. When you have established the picture, allow yourself to become one with the lake as you lie down on your back or sit in meditation

4.1.3. Use your awareness to hold your energies in the same way as the lake’s waters are held by the receptive and accepting basin of the earth itself

4.1.4. In your meditation practice and in your daily life, can you identify not only with the content of your thoughts and feelings but also with the vast unwavering reservoir of awareness itself residing below the surface of the mind?

4.2. Using the Mountain Meditation

4.2.1. Picture the most beautiful mountain you know or can imagine, one whose form speaks personally to you.

4.2.2. As you focus on the image or the feeling of the mountain in your mind’s eye, notice its overall shape, the lofty peak, the base rooted in the rock of the earth’s crust, the steep or gently sloping sides.

4.2.3. Note as well how massive it is, how beautiful whether seen from afar or up close.

4.2.4. When you feel ready, see if you can bring the mountain into your own body so that your body sitting here and the mountain of the mind’s eye become one.

4.2.4.1. Your head becomes the lofty peak;

4.2.4.2. Your shoulders and arms the sides of the mountain

4.2.4.3. Your buttocks and legs the solid base rooted to your cushion on the floor or to your chair.

4.2.5. Dancing Mountains

4.2.5.1. Mountains are quintessentially emblematic of abiding presence and stillness

4.2.5.1.1. The mountain image held in the mind’s eye and in the body can freshen our memory of why we are sitting in the first place, and of what it truly means, each time we take our seat, to dwell in the realm of non-doing.

4.2.5.1.2. The image of the mountain may help us to see that our thoughts and feelings, our preoccupations, our emotional storms and crises, even the things that happen to us are much like the weather on the mountain.

4.2.5.2. We tend to take our emotions/storms personally, but the mountain’s strongest characteristic is impersonal.

4.2.5.2.1. The weather of our own lives is not to be ignored or denied. It is to be encountered, honored, felt, known for what it is, and held in high awareness since it can kill us….

4.2.5.2.2. “We are breathing, moving, dancing mountains.”

4.2.6. Climbing boulders

4.2.6.1. The foot ultimately commits to one way

4.2.6.2. Just as you decide where to put your foot next, so must you decide what to think and do next in your life

4.2.6.3. Covering ground on foot always unfolds out of the uniqueness of the present moment

4.2.6.4. “Our feet and our breath both teach us to watch our step.”

5. 3) Sitting, Standing, Lying Down Meditation

5.1. Sitting

5.1.1. “Sit in a way that embodies dignity.”

5.1.1.1. Relaxed Face

5.1.1.2. Dropped Shoulders

5.1.1.3. Spine rising from Pelvis

5.1.2. The orientation of sitting meditation

5.1.2.1. Non-attachment

5.1.2.2. Unwavering stability

5.1.2.3. Like a clear mirror, only reflecting, itself

5.1.2.4. Empty, receptive, open.

5.2. Walking meditation

5.2.1. Bring awareness to your own walking.

5.2.2. Slow it down a bit.

5.2.3. Center yourself in your body and in the present moment.

5.2.4. Appreciate the fact that you are able to walk

5.2.4.1. Perceive how miraculous your walking is

5.2.4.2. Don’t take for granted that your body works so wonderfully

5.3. Standing meditation: Learn from the trees

5.3.1. Feel your body sway gently, as it always will, just as trees do in a breeze.

5.3.2. Drink in what is in front of you, or keep your eyes closed and sense your surroundings.

5.3.3. When mind or body first signals that perhaps it is time to move on, stay with the standing a while longer

5.3.4. “Remember that that trees stand still for years, occasionally lifetimes if they are fortunate.”

5.4. Lying down meditation

5.4.1. Before sleep, upon waking, while resting or lounging, tune into your breath

5.4.2. Feel it moving in your entire body, in various regions such as the feet, legs, pelvis, chest etc.

5.4.3. Allow yourself to feel whatever is present, sensations in the body flux and change.”