Thursday, October 14, 2010

Seriously, Read This

The Morning Sitting

The morning sitting, initially & primarily, trains the volitional attention. Our attention engages the finer energies of organic sensation, feeling & thinking. In time, these finer energies begin to cohere, developing a subtle energetic vehicle which supports finer qualities of experiencing: physically, intellectually & emotionally.

There are a series of morning exercises of increasing subtlety that, over time, begin to increase & substantiate our personal presence. This is not an end in itself, more a beginning to living a proper life for a human being, to support us in achieving whatever we might hope for ourselves. The practice also supports us in responding to what life might ask of us.

The morning sitting is not meditation: meditation is active-receptivity. The morning sitting is actively-active, while physically still and externally motionless. The morning sitting trains us to hold ourselves in place, quietly and in receptive mode: in this sense, it prepares us for meditation.

Two Questions:

Why practice the morning sitting?
Why not practice guitar for half an hour instead?

1. Before we ask ourselves to do something, we begin by asking ourselves to do nothing. When our body is prepared to do nothing when we ask it to, perhaps it will do something when we tell it to: such as, integrating & co-ordinating specialised motor skills while playing a musical instrument.

2. As relaxation develops & deepens over time, emotional states and memories fixed within muscular patterns and bodily postures lessen their hold on us. Our personal history, locked inside the body, begins to let us go; increasingly we move into the here-and-now. We gradually develop a relaxed & engaged sense of personal presence: life becomes a little more real.

3. We begin to distinguish between what-we-are & who-we-are. For example, we discover the distance between the background noise of monkey-mind, its associational rattling & automatic mental commentaries (conventionally referred to as thinking), and who is listening to it.

4. The volitional attention is practised & strengthened. Effectively, for nearly all practical concerns, the quality of our attention describes & defines who we are, and is pretty much all we can claim to own in life.

But, these are comments presented at the beginning of the practice. Although, even as a beginning, this much is already a considerable achievement: it is a foundation for living. When established, and there is no end to the depth of the practice while we draw breath, the morning sitting leads us to a more sophisticated awareness of qualities & distinctions in our perceptions and experiencing: life gets richer.

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