Have you ever tried to meditate? Did you ever hear people try to explain what it is?
You’ve probably heard things like “Don’t think”, “Clear your mind” and “Shutting up your inner dialogue”.
The problem is that those are just concepts. Did you ever try having no thoughts? Not only does it have the same effect on you as reading the following: Don’t think of a purple cow. It’s also very frustrating.
“I’m not thinking, I’m not thinking, look at all this space in my mind, this is so cool, I haven’t had a thought in minutes, I’m so good at this. Wait, who’s thinking that, shut up! No you! Who? Where? What the… ”
That which generates
The mind is a wonderfully efficient thing. But it has a hard time dealing with true insight. Insight is in the realm of that which generates, while the mind does it’s best work conceptualizing what we experience and put in the realm of that which has been generated for future reference.
The moment of generation does make a nice whooshing sound when it passes you by. But is there a way to keep a hold of it and jump on it’s back for a ride? How awesome would that be, constantly being at the forefront of generation, and looking back to see all those concepts form.You used to be back there and you had no idea what’s going on up here. All you had were concepts, not the real thing.
It’s fuzzy, and it’s actually a concept what I’m trying to write down here, but it’s as close as you’ll ever get to meditation without actually doing it yourself.
To put it more briefly, when you meditate you step away from the real of that which was generated and you enter the realm of that which generates.
There is no moment of “will be generated” or “was generated”, no, it’s this very moment that is indescribable, unconveyable.
Listening to your surroundings
And there is only one way to get there: practice over and over and over again. As you’re meditating, or doing anything else for that matter, you’ll have these brief moments that you are actually just experiencing, just listening to the world around you. Listening in the broadest sense of the word that is. You’re completely in touch and sync with the moment.
But those moments are brief, you’ll loose them within a split second.
In martial arts this is very apparent. You listen to your opponent and dodge a blow because you saw it coming. But now your mind steps in to pat you on the back “Cool, I dodged his blow, I’m so awesome. I’m…. *smack*” and another blow lands. We were no longer listening.
Loosing time, self and mind
The mind is a concept-creating wonder. This is what it does. Pattern recognition, attempting to predict future events based on the past, gathering “knowledge”, interpreting signs. You get the idea.
But the mind isn’t perfect. All it’s concepts are created with other concepts in mind, and the more you experience, the more your concepts become entwined. Soon there will be no more possibilities because you think that you know what is coming. Pattern recognition is particularly good at this.
If I manage to land a blow every single time I kick first. In time you will adapt and expect a blow after each kick. Also, I will punch after every kick, being sure that I will hit you. This is just a simple example obviously, but the idea goes for everything. How we interact with each other is all the result of previous encounters. We apply filters to what we hear others do and interpret them according to our own concepts.
What would your world be like if you had no more concepts? And I remind you, “you” and “self” are also concepts. What if you left the realm of that which was generated and get right up there, up front in the realm of that which generates?
No more concepts, no more filters, no more previous experiences to judge current events by.
ps. Happy Towel Day everyone