4 comments on “I don't meditate

  1. I've been listening to Alan Watts's lectures a lot in the past month, and just found your blog today. So I'm inclined to write something here.

    "Meditation" is a noise that your brain connects with a concept - concentration. It's direct pointing at the mind - anything beyond that is superfluous.

    Clearing away thoughts is not the point, it precisely is the act of allowing thoughts to come and go as birds do when reflected over a pond. If you carry a thought once it has passed, then this is to concentrate on that past thought, which is obviously very useful in some situations.

    In others, such as when I was lying in bed last night, I lit a candle and decided my task was to "focus on the candle". Initially, I looked directly at it, but the flame was obstructed by wax on the side. I looked up to the ceiling and saw the circular shadow, then focused on that. Next, I focused on the image of my fingers around the shadow and played with the light and dark for a few minutes. Then, I picked up the candle and played some more. Finally, I looked at the flame and blew it out. No more candle existed on which to focus; I went to sleep. During that time I no thoughts arose about ego, bills, work tasks, computers, or any of that - but with no effort required to push them away from my thoughts. I merely was.

    [admin - Edited to form paragraphs. Paragraphs are your friend.]

    • Your comment seems conflicted.

      > Clearing away thoughts is not the point ...

      then

      > During that time I no[sic] thoughts arose about ego, bills, work tasks, computers, or any of that - but with no effort required to push them away from my thoughts. I merely was.

      Maybe we're working with different concepts of what meditation is. However, you seem to me to be talking about clearing thoughts.

  2. The reason you're perceiving a conflict is that you are assuming that it was my goal to not think about those things when my intention was merely to focus on a candle. After the practiced I reflected on the calming effect and found it to be an inherent property of the practice. However, it required no additional effort to obtain. I now know that I could do this same practice once again and likely achieve the same results, if that's what I desired.

    As another example of what I'm trying to describe here, there is the common suggestion to focus on breathing voluntarily while meditating. The goal isn't to count breaths for the sake of counting breaths or even to be mindful of the breathing - but to take this to the logical conclusion and achieve breathing that is neither voluntary nor involuntarily. This sounds contradictory as well, but it is possible to breathe in such a way that the breath falls effortlessly in and out of the body. Once this has been achieved there no longer a breath on which to focus - similar to my blowing out of the candle - at which point another state has been reached where the previous object of focus (voluntarily breathing) ceases to exist as a concept or concern.

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