In my efforts to sit still in meditation and let go I find myself reaching, grasping, for an experience of release. Perhaps you recognize the futility in this.
A couple of years ago I started having an experience while meditating in a group at Antoinette’s house. The experience has deepened as it has occasionally been repeated since then, but I still find it to be rather elusive. Recently, I found myself in this state spontaneously while sitting at my desk. I had sat down to meditate and then allowed myself to be distracted by work, and a little while later I found my self taken over by my Self.
The first time I experienced this state it was largely a physical sensation. At the time I had no words for it, but some told me that it sounded like ‘expansion’. Basically, I would feel my awareness of my gross (yucky) physical body begin to expand. At first I would feel the sensation of being above myself. Later I realized that I was simultaneously feeling below myself. Eventually I came to realize that I could direct my attention and ‘feel’ my ‘subtle’ body in all directions. The more I allowed this to happen the broader my reach.
I dare say I was not contained by the room at times.
So…….this was neat. But, there was something else, a bit of a breakthrough me thinks.
Most of the time. I had the idea that in order to meditate properly I should stop my thinking. This is not quite easy and not quite true. I was always looking for a ‘quite place’, a peacefulness, a calm. A place where my neurotic grasping mind was not in control of Me.
Sometimes I would find myself in what seemed to be such a state. Often times it would be fleeting, sometimes a few seconds, sometimes minutes, often times time is not really applicable (I have no fucking clue how long it has been).
The breakthrough for me was realizing that the thinking had not stopped. My attachment to it had. The sensation was similar to that of looking to my left and seeing my brain, cranking away, fully engaged in the plotting, scheming, planning, analyzing, worrying, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah (there were 5 blahs). In much the same way that I could direct my attention to my hand resting on my leg and feel what my hand was feeling I could direct my attention to my mind and check in with what my brain was thinking.
The implications of this are not to be ignored. What exactly is my awareness is if it is not centered in my mind? What am I? Deluded? I think not.
Upon sitting satsang with Loch Kelly, a guru type in NYC, I heard him speak of the Buddhist idea that the mind is often considered to be another one of the senses. The sixth sense if you will. This immediately resonated with me and my experience. That was exactly what went down. I finally got a little perspective on this sense. I finally separated myself from it. Not disassociation, but differentiation, which can lead to integration.
Only now I find myself chasing this always already present state as if I am not already there. It is not something that became true when I became attuned to it. It was always the truth. I simply stopped confusing myself otherwise for a bit. The experience has returned, and I have this constant cognitive awareness of it, but the ability to tap into this state, to relax into this state, this is what I find to be elusive. My association with my thinking mind is so strong that even when made glaringly aware of it I still find myself immersed in it experientially.