from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

so why then do I meditate?

You'd be forgiven for asking that question, since I said yesterday that my meditation practice is not about trying to 'achieve or attain or escape or transcend'.

Well, maybe I should qualify that by saying that sometimes transcendence does happen. Hopefully, I'll be more practised at accessing that experience where ego is put on one side and I remember the greater forces that sustain us there.

Meantime, in no particular order but rather as they occur to me, here are some reasons for meditating; some personal, like 'it makes me feel good'; some with an awareness that what I do for myself might also be in a tiny way a contribution to collective consciousness – if only by virtue of creating less harm, perhaps.

It opens up a sense of spaciousness and calm that informs my day
It aligns me with something greater than the ego, both in myself and in the cosmos
It allows me to be more present in each moment than I might otherwise be
It helps me to bring more presence to my interactions with others, and more presence to my thoughts, words, deeds
It gives me more choice: eg it reminds me that stress, emotional reactions etc are at least to some extent a matter of choice, not inevitability
It helps me regroup the scattered fragments of myself
It helps me choose more skilful paths in how I live
It allows me to remember that I'm 'part of, not apart'

It allows me to remember that I don't have to immerse myself in personal (ie egoic) gratification of desires, cravings, or even fears and aversions as if they were the centre around which my life whole revolves (once again opening up more choices)
It reminds me of interconnectedness
It also lets me know, via recurring issues that crop up in that space, what patterns and projections still run me, and how much more there always is to learn...
It's about knowing myself, and therefore deepening how I engage with others (in a Delphic Oracle kind of way, not a navel-gazing one – of course!)

That's for starters.

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