Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Deepening my inward sensation

Hacienda Yaxcopoil, Yucatan

Notes from lunchtime, Shanghai. (Thai food.)

Different kinds of sensation and levels of the experience become available at different times of the day; and at different times of the year. One can't expect it to always stay the same; and, indeed, as one grows older and the practice becomes more definite, one's relationship to it changes.

 Today at lunch, I realized that I would like to deepen my inward sensation more. There can be a gathering inward, a drawing together of the fibers of attention, in which I can sense the exact tension in them and just how taut they need to be in order for me to have a more intimate interaction with them.

In an experience like this, the analogy of the horse, the carriage, and the driver becomes much more tangible and real, because one actually feels the reins that connect the horse and the driver, and one sees how exact the analogy is — it's not actually an analogy at all, it is an accurate physical description of the relationship.

This attention is not merely one of the mind. It's quite physical, and it reaches downward into the roots of my nervous system, into parts I am not so often aware of. This deepening, this gathering inward, brings me to a different sense of my Being; one in which there is a different focus. That focus is of great interest because it has an objectivity to it which cannot be present in my ordinary state.

 In this, I see — as I contemplate the slice of lemon floating in my water glass — that perfection does not arise in the object, but in this dynamic of awareness. It's the great failing both of my individuality and of our entire culture to not understand this; I always want to locate perfection outside of Being, whereas it forever lies within it.

 It's the receiving of impressions that engenders the perfect; and perfection is only inherent in any circumstance to the extent that the impression is properly received.


Lee van Laer is a senior editor at Parabola Magazine.

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