Tuesday, June 12, 2007

On Distractions and the Dance

You sit down to meditate. Within a few minutes, your stomach starts rumbling and grumbling for some food. A moment later the alarm on your cellular phone starts going off in the other room. There is a few moments of calm and then the dogs start barking at a rabbit in the back yard. A police siren screams down the street.

The natural, habitual reaction to all this is to label these things distractions to the peace and focus of your meditation. I believe the first step, however, toward really making meditation meaningful is the simple observation that the dance of life is happening. Meditation is nothing more than resting in consciousness. It is identifying with with formless, still base-point, or ground, upon which all of life springs forth. But what is consciousness without light/form/life, and vice versa?

There is the Ground and there is the Dance.
There is the Masculine and there is the Feminine.
There is the Source and there is the Expression.

These things that come up while we are identifying with consciousness are not distractions; they are the very life that consciousness witnesses. They are that which dances while we remain still. It is only because the light and life dances we know any stillness at all.


a said...

I suppose it wouldn't do any good to ask them to dance more quietly, in a less annoying way? :)

Thanks for the reminder.

Brother Tadhg said...

Great post. Oriental monks call those thoughts the product of the 'monkey mind'. They're gonna happen, but the knack is not to dwell on them, nor interact with them in any way, but to 'focus' on the meditation. Once you start to interect, 'converse' with them or even worry about them, your meditation is 'disabled'. Great post, though, man.

anonymous julie said...

The first paragraph sounds remarkably like Brad Warner's book "Hardcore Zen"

Meditation is nothing more than resting in consciousness.

Uh huh!

Trev Diesel said...

A- ha, good call

BT- Agreed. Thanks for swinging by.

Julie - is that an agreeing "uh huh!" or a sarcastic "uh huh!" ?? :)

Celeste said...

great post trev.

sometimes it's best to get up off your meditation cushion and go join the dancers.

Trev Diesel said...

Celeste - ...and then there's that! I find it meaningful to do both, for sure.

anonymous julie said...

Trev - that's definitely an agreeing one!

Trev Diesel said...

J - Well, you never know with you. You're quite the saucy one.

Jeff Greathouse said...

thanks for the words ...

Jon said...

Great post. I also think one of the first things meditators should notice is that you can't control the thought-stream, the inner distraction.

This leads to the realization--and it's possible to realize this in just a few sessions--that if you can control your thoughts, but you can perceive them, they cannot possibly be you.

So--who are you?

Outer distractions, yep--it's all going on, but if you withdraw your senses, where does the world go?

Trev Diesel said...

Yes, this was about outer distractions, but thanks for the reflections on the inner distractions... just as real, those crazy thoughts! :)

No controlling... just witnessing.