Day #10 Meditate thru it

Days ago, it came to me that to meditate and to deepen my meditation practice would be the best way to approach this time. I had Culadasa’s book, and had gotten to stage 5 or 6 of his 10 stages a year ago, but then drifted off to other projects, other distractions. So I decided to start again at stage 1. I even recorded it and sent it to several friends to discover if they wanted to take the ride with me. No one replied. Ha! well, that does not matter at all.

Stage one, he says, is this: Sit with the intention that you will focus on one thing and you will do your best to do so and that will be sufficient. Intention. It helps to locate one chair or one floor space and designate it as your meditation spot. When you sit, it helps if your head is high and your back is straight. It also helps if you close your eyes.

Now you have some terminology to learn. He says to think of the mind the way you think of your eyesight. With eyesight, just look out and you will find that you focus on one thing. You do. But you still have many many other things in your peripheral vision. You do. All of it is in your awareness. Some of it is focused; some of it is peripheral. So, too, with meditation. You pick a meditation focus and you will have many things in the periphery. Your meditation focus is your breath.

On your breath: breath and notice that you can become highly aware of the air moving the hairs in your nostrils, the hairs on your upper lip. That is your focus. It is constantly there. You focus on it. However, you will not be able to keep your focus on it because your mind very frequently will wander to the periphery. With the mind the periphery is much vaster than with your eyesight. The periphery of your mind might include a plan you have for tomorrow or a fight you had a year ago or your hunger or your wondering what time it is. To quell that time-thought, I suggest you always set an alarm. Do you want to meditate for 10 minutes or 45? It’s up to you. Then your alarm quells that thought.

Now, all you have to do in stage one, and I do mean ALL YOU HAVE TO DO, is to return to your focus when you (finally) discover that you have wandered off to the periphery of awareness. Return to the nose, the hairs, the out, the in. That is all. You might find that a judgement arises, such as “omg, I must have been thinking about that other thing now for five minutes.” So what? That judgement is also in the periphery. Drop it. Return to the focus: your breath. It does not matter (at all) how many times you wander; it only matters that you return to the meditation focus.

That’s it. Try it. Culadasa’s book is “The Mind Illuminated.”

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