"A human being is a part of the whole that we call the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical illusion of his consciousness. This illusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for only the few people nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living beings and all of nature."
A lot of things amaze me. There are a lot of complex concepts to consider. And a lot of simplicity to consider just the same. We can get caught up though in all this considering, and weighing, and pondering and gesticulating, so much so, that we are not present. Not present to just be. But Just being is an equally valid destination. If you don't know were you're going, however, you'll never get there. I have found that stopping --just to Be--through meditation, always amounts to what I am beginning to notice are universal truths. But what exactly is meditation? To me, meditation is an unplanned introduction to who we are at the most basic, universal level. It is a way of slowing down and focusing inward. It is a way of allowing ourselves to do nothing for a period of time. Allowing ourselves just to observe ourselves. To observe the endless thought stream which is our mind. The mind which Buddhists refer to as Monkey mind. Swinging from thought to thought to thought, grabbing bananas on the run. In so doing we learn something about the nature of our inner realities, the direction our minds tend to go when given free reign.
And then making the choice, to come back to our bodies and notice how it feels to enlarge our chest cavities as we invite the air to nourish every cell of our beings. recognizing the weight of our hands as they rest upward facing ready to receive that which can be learned from our silence.
We notice how we feel being supported by the earth. We may notice, an itch and maybe come to realize that we can breathe it away. We may begin to feel at a deeper level,our connection to our surroundings. We may notice that in our day to dayness we haven't felt that connection in a while. Our charge then as we sit and breathe, it is said to be, is to witness. To be the observer. The observer of the monkey mind as it changes gear again and again. And as a good witness, it is unbiased. "Just the facts, sir" . So we Observe the thoughts that we're having and maybe we draw some conclusions. Maybe we have some epiphanies, and if you really want to amaze yourself, you may come to know that someone else, somewhere else in the world, is coming to the same conclusions you are. Someone,Somewhere In the past or the future, or at this present moment is realizing that there are no new ideas? Just variations on themes. And all of these things reside in our essence, which is a constant. Our essence resides in stillness. It is like an elderly grandparent living alone who likes a visitor now and then to hold her hand and just sit a while. Essence is like an Elderly Grandparent with a candy bowl full of wisdom to share. And there is no candy sweeter than the candy your grandmother sneaks you when your parents aren't looking.
"The secret of health for both body and mind, is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly."