Friday, February 27, 2015

Choiceless Awareness

Fuck! It is REALLY hard to stop your mind racing while you sit there in silence with your eyes closed. I'm trying not to worry about that and just take it as a nice break from busy body/busy mind mode that I'm in most of the day.

Someone said to me that sitting meditatively gives your mind the signal that you are going to prioritise quiet thoughts.. and that like a muscle your mind will get better at this the more you work on it.

Can't bloody wait.

My clever friend Sue just wrote a comment on my last post: "I reckon the very first step is just to notice our thoughts - notice that we have them, and what happens to our bodies when we have them. Once we are in the habit of noticing them, we can start to get a handle on them. I think it's fascinating that some thoughts are incredibly destructive, some are unbelievably intelligent and creative, and most are totally boring and repetitive! But the potential to know them, and begin to choose them and use them ... that's very cool"

I think I'm looking for some sort of 'magical event' to occur with meditation that is going to elevate me to a nirvana-like state that is completely out of this world...! But I hope I'm also realistic that this is unlikely to happen any time soon (if at all).

Dan Harris describes an experiencing amazing mental break-through when he was on a meditation retreat called 'choiceless awareness'. It's where you have built up enough concentration that you can drop your obsessive focus on the breath and just 'open up' to whatever is there. When it happened to him on Day 5 of a retreat (after hours and hours and hours of sitting meditatively) he experienced this 'choiceless awareness' and says it was "exhilarating ... like a curtain has been lifted ... and there's something about the act of being present and awake in this way that produces a gigantic blast of serotonin." He goes on: "It's like I'd spent the past five days being dragged by my head behind a motorboat and now, all of a sudden, I'm up on water skis. This is an experience of my own mind I've never had before - a front-row seat to watch the machinery of consciousness. It's thrilling....."

Shit! I want what he's got! I want to go on a meditation retreat!! Not sure how I'm going to get that one past Mr D but I will try. That is definitely a goal of mine for this year.

In the meantime I am going to continue with my goal of taking time out every single day (if I can) to sit quietly with my eyes shut and try to concentrate on my breath. And every time my mind wanders (which is constantly) I will bring it back to the breath. I managed 10 minutes yesterday. And maybe 10 minutes just now. Small steps in the right direction.

Love, Mrs D xxx

1 comment:

  1. I read awhile ago now that one of the most powerful meditations you can go is sit quietly with eyes closed and simply - smile.
    Neat eh?