April 24, 2016 10:41 AM
For easy reference when doing this meditation, bookmark this page, print it, or save the photo above to your phone.
Just before I “woke up,” I was sitting in my camp chair on Mt. Hood, practicing what I would later learn was called samyama. I would look at a flower, and try to become one with it. I would sit there, staring at it intently while actively trying to dissolve the perceived boundaries between the flower and myself. I would try to dissolve myself (me-me-me-me-ME!) and become absorbed into the flower.
While I could kind of get a taste of the feeling of Oneness, I wasn’t getting it in the sense I could say, “I got it!” Still, I could feel the “me” softening. In that same week, while sitting on a rock overlooking a brook, I challenged a frog to a meditation contest—and lost. This pissed me off like you wouldn’t believe, and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. How could a stupid frog be better at mediation that me(-me-me-me-ME)!
Yesterday, for the book, I wrote:
I spent about 30 years of my life doing Ramana Maharshi’s “Who am I?” technique all wrong. The query is so simple that it’s hard to believe anyone could do it wrong, but spiritual techniques and theories are so notoriously vague and incomplete that assumptions—usually incorrect assumptions—are by necessity made by students.
Sad but true.
Here is what I was doing wrong by asking myself, “Who am I?” for thirty years… … Read more…
Usually I’ll be ruminating on something and then snap into a “wait, this is ridiculous to spend all of this mental energy on illusion” sort of realization and it will just happen like that.
When I get caught up in my me-me-me thoughts, I focus on the feel of the contraction/thoughts and visualize pulling them out of my head and dropping them to the ground beside me.
What happens next is what most people call “enlightenment.” The outside world fills the space that was left behind when the me-me-me thoughts were removed and the world and I become one. The Gateless Gate—the felt barrier between the inside world and the outside world—vanishes.
Notice what happened with both Michelle and I: We were focused on interior thoughts (the introspective section of the brain was activated), then we removed the contents of the interior. Because nature abhors a vacuum, the interior space automatically gets “filled” with the outside world. … Read more…
“Snow,” my mind said as I lay in bed, looking out the window just as clump fell from a branch. As the clump fell, it released a cloud, and—backlit by the morning sun—a forest sprite appeared and drifted briefly through the wood, lost, only to succumb to the hardness of the material world… collapsing and dying and fading into the ground.
“Snow,” my Mind said.
But my Heart saw a forest sprite.
Have you ever met someone who just “gets” you? Your Mind says they understand you, but your Heart feels/knows/experiences that they get you. … Read more…
Yesterday I mentioned that a couple of things had thrown me for a loop: The “failure” of a theory I had, and an article I had read earlier that morning which made me question if spirituality was just a big mental illusion.
This morning, Rob resolved the first point (in the comments) by noting that my theory’s “failure” was due to a simple framing problem (physical needs confused with mental desires (a point worthy of a blog post all it’s own)), but the problem of “spirituality being all in your head” was still disturbing. … Read more…