Day 10

What about not knowing?

What about giving up?

What about having NO STRATEGIES?

What about being utterly and completely helpless in the face of the unknown?

What about the fact that anything that I could possibly know with the mind couldn’t possibly be it?

A beautiful tension exists between knowing and not knowing.

What about sitting still, paying attention and being relaxed and not having any idea about anything else?

Why waste time trying to figure everything out?

***

I am discovering a thrill in realizing that it is possible to follow the meditation instructions perfectly and to sustain that practice indefinitely.

That is when real depth becomes possible.

The only bigger thrill is the dawning recognition to know that I can find liberation here and now

Day 9

Doing the practice, really doing it with all of my attention and all of my intention is the only thing that works. Evolutionary Enlightenment only makes sense in an absolute context which means when you are actually practicing it for real. It doesn’t apply at all to the relative world in which I am always trying to practice, but never actually am.

The mind cannot “relate to” an absolute context..  That means that anything the mind thinks about enlightenment or about the absolute nature of reality will be, by definition,

wrong,

wrong,

wrong,

absolutely wrong…

…not true, without exception, guaranteed, it can’t know the absolute, end of story.

That means all of my interpretations of the path and all of my interpretations of Andrew Cohen’s meditation instructions are wrong, wrong, wrong. His instructions are totally simple and crystal clear.

Sit still.

Be as relaxed as possible.

Be as alert as possible.

If you find yourself lost in thought, just come back to the instructions – doing the practice for real, really wanting to go all the way, never stopping, no matter what joy or bliss you feel.

Never allow yourself to be tempted away from giving all of your attention and all of your energy to letting everything be as it is.

That is when the practice has power.

That is when something can happen.

Only then.

Insight from meditation:

Passivity is death.

 I’ve gotten so used to being passive in life that I hardly notice it. I’m almost always waiting for things to happen to me.

What about my own commitment to making something happen?

Will any thing ever happen if I’m passive about it?

Passivity is the enemy.

               Passivity is the ego.

                              Passivity is waiting to die.

When I really make effort to follow the instructions something starts to happen. Depth appears out of nowhere and the heavy sleepiness disappears.

Why not be free, why not?

Thoughts, they are all the same, thoughts about my life, sexual thoughts, day dreams, spiritual thoughts, thoughts about all my ideas about how I am doing on the spiritual path.

 

They are all thoughts,

thoughts,

thoughts.

 

Meanwhile, here in reality, I am going to die lost in my mind with all my cherished thoughts if I don’t find a way out beyond my compulsive, fascination with thought and the unquestioned belief that there is something in them, somewhere, of value.

 

Just do the practice.

 

Stop worrying about what’s supposed to happen, what is happening, what is about to happen and what is not happening.

 

All that thinking is just garbage, garbage, garbage.

 

The mind produces nothing but garbage.

 

***

 

The last meditation tonight was deeply still. I just stopped. I didn’t think about stopping, I didn’t try to stop, I wasn’t lost in the process of stopping; I just stopped, sat still, relaxed and paid attention. I just let everything be as it is.

 

So where is the explosion? Is there supposed to be one?

 

It became clear to me that in order to really let go in meditation; one has to be sincere in the intent to go all the way now. Not in the future – in this moment. Only that kind of intention can create real miracles.

 

That is my contemplation. Am I ready to go all the way now, am I ready to trust and surrender?

There is no obstacle, the only thing I could possibly be struggling with in meditation is myself, there is nothing else and no one else in there. My experience in meditation is completely volitional. I go as far as I choose to go. The content of thought is irrelevant. Whether I think a beautiful thought or an ugly one, once it is gone, it is gone. It leaves no trace. It only remains in consciousness if I make the effort to remember it. Only then does it have any lingering psychological or emotional effect, otherwise once it’s gone, it’s gone as if it never happened.

 

That must be why Andrew Cohen has said that thought does not create Karma.

 

Thought is not real. If my attention is fixated solely on thought, then my attention is fixated solely on that which is unreal.

 

A knowing deeper than thought must shift in order for real change to occur. Insight alone won’t change anything.

Today I experimented with the possibility of being able to do the practice while even letting go of the effort I am making to do the practice. It felt like meditating on autopilot. I was making the same effort but I was resisting the temptation to be concerned about the process of doing it, just making the effort because it needed to be done.

 

Through the sustained practice of resisting the temptation to respond to thought and feeling in meditation I am beginning to see clearly how much I usually respond almost exclusively to my thoughts and feelings and nearly not at all to the objective truth beyond what I might be thinking or feeling in any particular moment. It’s so easy to be profoundly unreal in this way.

 

***

 

 

                   Real Heart – Real Surrender

 

Two Insights after meditation:

 

1.     I think I know everything.

 

2.     I leave very little room inside myself for what I don’t know.

Meditation is resisting the temptation to move away from where you already are.

 

The ego is so clever at finding ways to convince you that there is a problem and that you have to go somewhere else to solve it. Once you realize that even the ego’s tricks are not a problem you discover that you never were trapped.

 

 

 

Stick with the meditation instructions

Don’t create a problem

 

Just do the practice.

How much time in meditation do I spend actually doing the practice? Not just having more and more subtle insights about the practice, or thinking about doing it, but actually doing it.

 

This morning for an instant in meditation, I seemed to glimpse the possibility of what it would mean to REALLY let everything be as it is. In that instant, tears flooded into my eyes and a bolt of energy ran through me.

 

I realized that in that deepest part of my being there was a rock bottom insistence that I would never touch reality directly. That I would never let everything be as it is.

 

I wonder when I decided that I must always experience reality indirectly through the ever-more complex images of the mind? Even today, when meditation was so  still that it felt like sitting at the bottom of the ocean, I still think that there was a veil of mind shielding me from the direct touch of reality.

We did our afternoon practice in the forest today. I wasn’t expecting the meditation to be very good. I feared it would be uncomfortable, hot and buggy. But in fact, during the first hour of meditation I felt a sense of numbness tingling in my arm. I had a moment to choose either to do something with this feeling or not. I remember thinking that I would let it overtake me and then the numbness spread through my chest, into the rest of my body and as it filled my head, I felt a deep relaxation descend on me. The rest of the afternoon and right up to this moment, I feel profoundly at ease. Sitting in meditation to “let everything be as it is”, was so easy and in fact it became obvious that I can’t help but let everything be as it is. You can’t very well let everything be as it isn’t.

 

I found that the very same thoughts that were coming and going yesterday were still there, but I was deeply unattached to them. I wasn’t fooled in the least into believing they made any difference. After practice I feared that having this powerful experience had led me to be passive. I wondered if I should have used the opportunity to make more effort instead of relaxing into the ease of it.

 

What is the relationship between making effort and letting everything be as it is?

After only three hours of sleep, meditation this morning was difficult, but still it was obvious to me that if I make enough effort I will be awake. If I am not succeeding, I am not making enough effort. Simple.

 

Each meditation today was more powerful than the last. I found myself immersed in depths of stillness that I haven’t touched for a long time and I can feel the possibility of letting go radically right at hand – letting go in a way that is out of control. This is my goal, to let go for real, to let go for good, to let go once and for all.

 

This is only the first of 30 days and I feel grateful for each and every one of them already. I will give everything I’ve got to the practice and see what happens. It’s great that meditation is so deep, so fast, but I don’t want to be satisfied with just a pleasant experience. After all the preparation that has led up to this retreat I want to make sure something happens. There’s no other way to look at it that makes sense – something has to happen.