In meditation, there will frequently appear to be a battle between the chattering mind and silent presence. It often seems the distractions of the mind soon have you chasing a thought down a rabbit hole until you are hopelessly lost in thinking. Eventually, presence brings you back to silence and you sit there with a feeling of failing at meditation.
The problem is, you still identify yourself as the mind. You see the noisy mind as who you are and the silent presence as something you need to achieve in meditation. A breakthrough comes when there is a shift in your experience and you realize it is the silent presence which you are and it is the mind which is merely a fly buzzing around your experience. The mind can never take you away from silent presence because you are always that. You never have to achieve anything. When thoughts come, you choose not to identify with or resist them. You abide in the presence you are and allow the mind to do its dance. Like a fireworks display, you watch the thoughts arise, explode, and diminish into nothingness. You are the witness to the beginning and the end of all thoughts. This is true meditation.
When you begin moving away from constantly living under the dictate of ego, you feel lighter, as if you have somehow shed inner weight. Then, during occasional episodes of falling back into the grip of ego energy, the sensation of heaviness returns and is startling. You wonder how you could have spent so much of your life living that way.
The Christian Bible says you are a Child of God. This is wonderful, but if God is your Father, who, would you imagine, is your Mother? Any ideas? No one? Since children are made up of characteristics from both parents, we need to figure out who our Mother is, don’t we? Could it possibly be true that God is both your Father and your Mother? Wait, if this is true, you would inherit 100% of God’s characteristics from your Father’s side and 100% from your Mother’s side of the family and that would make you 100% a Spiritual Being, wouldn’t it? Huh. Imagine that…
All human relationships will involve a certain degree of dysfunction until the realization comes that there is no relationship between human beings. There is only one being. With that realization, all dysfunction dissolves.
Treat the body exactly as a garden in which you have been given charge. Give it the necessary time, attention, and care to receive optimum return, yet never attach a personal identity to it. You would never confuse the garden with yourself. Similarly, never confuse the body with yourself. If you notice you are over-feeding or under-watering the garden, make the necessary adjustments, then let the garden be the garden. It will do what gardens do as they grow, sometimes as expected, other times producing surprising results. At times, it seems like we can influence the health and development of the garden, but ultimately, so much of the garden’s process is beyond our control and understanding, even in the garden’s demise, as it changes form and dissolves back into the earth from where it was never actually separate. This is the good and necessary process of gardens and bodies.
Just as coming out of a completely dark room into a brightly lit room takes a time period of adjustment before one can see clearly, so does moving from unconsciousness to consciousness. The reality is, there is no person, no transformation, no passing of time. But on the human level, there is often the appearance of the passing of time before we can fully experience the depth and nuances of the awakened state. This is the illusion of spiritual novice and spiritual master.