….the way the Buddha taught meditation was to release the mind from its tendency to get thrown by circumstances (conditions/stimulus) – not to ignore or annihilate the field that forms around us. (How can we?) His encouragement was to keep inclining the mind towards more skillful intentions, until eventually the clinging that generates a sense of self is eased out of occupying the organizing centre. That is, as we find our axis, say through the steady and calming energy of breathing in and out, we gradually widen the awareness to include the whole body, and sense the breath energy through that entire field. This ‘bodily formation’ then holds itself, and the sense of holding it, of me being the centre, can relax. There still is a sense of centre, but it’s the quality of composure, of single aim and intent called ‘one-pointedness’ (ekaggat?). Through contemplating and clearing that of tension, defense, ambition, conceit and all the rest, this centre lets go of location and self-centred purpose. It holds a pure field, a field of benefit. By staying connected to that pure and strong intention, the sense of unruffled ease covers whatever it contacts. And that definitely changes the ‘feel’ of the world around and within you: you’re not getting organized by confusion, reactivity and deluded views, the heart is untroubled and you can respond with wisdom to what comes up.
This says succinctly what I was trying to explain while standing in the rain by Lake Windermere the other evening to somebody who practices a different yet deeply connected discipline.
This is for you Avi, with deepest gratitude.