October 24, 2014

Using Mindfulness to Engage.

sitting meditation

My writing spirit seemed to have vanished.

For weeks now, I’ve been sitting at the computer, staring at the cursor in my Word document, while my mind remains little more than a vacuous chasm of emptiness.

Sapped of my creativity, my well of lingo, lay dry and cracked in a blazing sun of suckiness.

Now that I have that out of the way, a conversation I was having this morning, with a new friend, struck a chord. You wouldn’t think it would have, as the conversation was so innocuous. But something was said, some little phrase.

“I don’t know what to write about.”

While I was reading last night, the Karmapa used the phrase; we have to know what we are meditating on, in order to actually meditate.

If we are not sure of our focus, then it becomes little more than shallow posturing; and to be honest, lately, I have felt very much like I have been posturing instead of truly engaging. This lack of engagement has been reflected in my inability to write and be fully aware in other pursuits as well.

So for those many weeks, while I sat, I couldn’t write because I had no idea what to write about, I wasn’t engaging the process of what I was doing.

I was posturing in the hopes of something magically popping up on the screen and leading me down a path of some usefulness.

Well, it doesn’t really work that way.

Just like our sitting practice, we can’t just hit the cushion and hope enlightenment and understanding find us.

What is our purpose while we sit and engage?

What is it that we are trying to accomplish?

In the long run, we all say, enlightenment, but we know all to well that our sitting process isn’t really a one stop shop of Nirvana 101. It is the daily process of cooking, working, kids, relationships etc.

Sitting gives us the chance to reflect, peel away our projections and mental images and to really see the ground of each reality we interplay with.

The practice isn’t on the cushion; the cushion is only the recharge from the intense practice of day to day life.

When I come home from the doctor and Brynn misses the potty and instead pees on me, then the dog pees on the floor, then the cat throws up and I step in it and this annoyance followed by that one and ad infinitum, we stop engagement these moments because they piss us off.

But without those moments, there is no true engagement of a grounded reality. These irritants are what bring our practice into fruition. They allow us the opportunity to apply and be calm in the chaos.

 “We must find comfort in the uncertainty of reality.” ~  Chogyam Trungpa

My writing was gone because I was uncertain; I was not engaging my interactions let alone myself; I was being evasive and hoping for a miracle when all along, it is mindfulness that allows for that miracle to manifest.


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Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: staticflickr

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