Updated: Jul 5
‘Meditation is not purely sitting alone in a particular posture attending to simple processes, but it is also an openness to the environment in which these processes take place. The environment becomes a reminder to us, continually giving us messages, teachings, insights.’
- Chogyam Trungpa
How incredible meditation is! Despite being the simplest thing, it is an inexhaustible source of wisdom, endlessly humbling, forever fresh. I have been having an issue with my right eye recently. It closed up and all sorts of weird sensations sprouted in the right side of my head. As this eye is in the line of pain/trauma linked to the jaw break I suffered years ago, I feared that serious complications had surfaced.I fell prey to the temptation of scratching this itch by placing all my attention on it, particularly when meditating. In retrospect, there was an undercurrent of hope that I could ‘fix’ my ‘problem’ with my special meditation powers as I performed internal jiggery pokery.
But it got worse. Before long, the whole right side of my body was throbbing and feeling numb, and the pain was quite debilitating. The more I ‘went inside’ to examine my problem, the more I descended into a pickle. After banging my head against the wall thus for some time, I became exhausted. I gave up my concentration. I softened, opening to a panoramic awareness that included my whole being and the space outside. And, quite suddenly, the clouds started clearing. A couple of days later, the pain has gone and my eye has healed. Wow.
How do I explain this?
Well, through Alexander Technique and sitting, I heave learned that (1) everything ‘mental’ has a physical component and vice versa; and (2) my body follows my awareness.
When I focus on physical discomfort, it expands. And when my physical discomfort expands, its associated mental neuroses grow in proportion and I plunged into internal warfare. When I let go of this insanity, I noticed that my ‘problem’ wasn’t something I ‘had’ but something I manifested through my resistance.
Since this epiphany, my meditation has been infused with a novel sense of ease. I am fascinated to observe how my body draws in when I catch myself in internal loops, and how opening my awareness is a refreshingly reliable antidote for these internal spirals. If I focus too hard on the breath, posture or any point of awareness, I deny myself a great deal of ease.