In our western culture, we assume that the source of thinking is the mind.
This was deeply embedded in my parents’ belief system, and passed along to me. It was an unquestioned assumption.
But how could this be? The so-called mind (which is a concept; I have never found a thing called “the mind,” have you?) is itself an apparent object. It is a thought; it cannot generate thought.
Thoughts bubble up in consciousness, like every other apparent thing that manifests. They arise in in it, and are made of it.
©Amrita Skye Blaine, 2015
I come across this photo. The mind squawks, “No! Poor bird!”
Pausing, I start here. Here, now. Quietly notice.
The dog’s lip is curved around sharp teeth. In the retrieving world, this is called “soft mouth.” The bird’s feet are not clamped in distress, nor do they seem dead. They may be registering surprise, but again, that’s the mind commenting. I can’t know.
Smiling, I imagine the dog opened her mouth and, the bird, sensing fresh air and opportunity, took flight—another comment of the mind.
© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2015
photo origin: unknown. If you are aware the source, please contact me so I can properly assign credit.
Today, a friend described sitting in meditation: she can easily fall into noticing objects, or drop off to sleep–but instead, wants to remain at the margin, on what she calls the razor’s edge.
For decades, our minds were trained to jump to thoughts, feelings, sensations, or perceptions; they are an obvious resting place. If we don’t go there, sleep seems like a way out. I have slept through more meditations than I care to count.
What’s helpful for me is to get very curious about that margin my friend spoke about. It’s a lively placeless-place of non-doing–awake and transparent. Thoughts want to take charge, but if I don’t pick them up–don’t touch them at all–they sink into the background. Open clarity abounds.
Thoughts, of course, pop up again. We have found them so interesting and entertaining. Leave them alone; by now, don’t we know where they lead? In my experience, thoughts always follow the same general pattern: they lag behind present moment experience, are often repetitive and off kilter, particularly those that want to capture us in old, familiar story.
Instead of returning yet again to our oldest patterns, let’s dance on the razor’s edge.
© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014