Tag Archives: Meditation

the razor’s edge

beach sunsetToday, 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
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Filed under Daily reminders, Musings, Non-duality

sitting

sittingSpiritual practice used to be a very important part of my life. I always had a small altar table set up in my home that held great meaning for me. It had a picture of my teacher and my teacher’s teacher on it, my prayer beads, a rock, and other objects that I felt held power. When I moved, I set it up first in my new home.

In the tradition that I “grew up in” as a young adult, practice generally meant repeating phrases, and chanting or singing. These practices might change after meeting with my teacher, but generally there were a couple that remained and became solid friends. I was either busily engaged in my practices–and feeling proud about it–or not doing them, and feeling guilty.

But lately, I just sit for whatever amount of time I have—maybe twenty minutes, maybe five. Even “meditating” seems too precious a word. I put my butt in a comfortable chair and stay there a while. No counting of breath, no labeling thoughts, no mantra—nothing. Usually a cup of tea or coffee is involved. I may sip it occasionally, or forget about it entirely. If I feel sleepy, I open my eyes. If wide awake, I may close them. There is no effort around thought. It usually occurs, but I don’t pay attention; it generally isn’t interesting anyway. If a train of thought does grab me, when I notice—and without judgment—I simply drop the thought-train and come back to the present. There is no way to do “it” wrong. However it is, is perfect.

I think of this non-activity as belonging to the present rather than being “my” time—the present, being aware, not even of itself, because it isn’t a thing; it just is. Other phrases that describe this are sitting in presence-awareness; resting; coming to ground. I’ve had people tell me that this doing-nothing terrifies them. In that case, I suggest five minutes a day. It’s kind to the body. Give it a try.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
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Filed under Advaita, Daily reminders