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March 24th, 2020
This episode is dedicated to an individual on Twitter who goes by the handle @Cojaill.
All of us are usually surfing. Sounds fun, but some of these waves are enormous, of a size that we often do not have the skill to surf. These monsters curl in on us and shake us from our balance, then crush us down into the turbulence. We are battered and bruised, and yet we go back for more, as though compelled by some kind of spiritual masochism.
Consider waves in this way: Can you have a wave without water?
What about water without the wave?
Of course, we can have calm seas.
So too with the mind. You can have a mind without thought – though it is rare, tricky and often requires much practice. But you cannot have a thought without the mind.
Observe now as this thought ripples through your consciousness. This concept is a kind of wave that is shaping your sense of what it means to exist right now. That is, if you’re paying attention. Otherwise, it’s something else. The smell of cooking from the kitchen. The pretty girl who just walked by. The ach and pain from the toe you just stubbed. The embarrassing episode from last week that still lingers, as though haunting you. Whatever it is that’s taking up the most real estate in your mind at the moment is shaping it.
We think of our minds generally like containers, and thoughts are some how doing their thing inside that container, that is, our head, our skull. But the reality is a bit inside out. Our mind is wherever our attention is, and if you pay close attention, it’s possible to see that there’s nothing confirming that it’s somehow inside your head. All you have to do is sit down in the theater and watch a fantastically engrossing movie. You feel transported. Who’s to say you aren’t?
What’s even more accurate is to forget about where the mind is, but rather be concerned with it’s shape.
That great movie is a wave that is moving through your mind, bending your mind, warping it, eliciting all sorts of aspects as it does.
Many of us are wandering waves in search of calm seas.
But realize, a wandering wave will never find a calm sea, always failing to understand that what it seeks is always present but corrupted by the seeking.
Meditation is first about gaining the ability to simply see the waves as they pass through your visceral experience of existing. To see the anger rise up like a huge wave and pass through you, hot as a bright iron, seeking to crush you, crumble you and bend you to say those awful things. But if you can see it, you can eventually gain the ability to just watch it pass.
With enough practice, your gaze eventually has a soothing effect on these waves. They becomes less prominent as you realize how unnecessary so many of them are. Eventually, when you give up that incessant habit to climb atop the waves and try to surf, no matter how fun or dangerous. Eventually, you find the calm sea, right where you are, just where it has always been.
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