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Quieting the Mind; Quietened Mind, What Then?

April 24, 2012

Breathe in, breathe out, let go…
Feel the sensation as it arises:
the in and out through the nose,
through the throat,
the chest, the belly.
And let go.

Thoughts come, rise and fall;
they appear and change,
they come and go.
So let go.

Feel deeper still,
first the breath, next the heartbeat:
that rhythmic pa-pum of life,
which ticks ever on with the passage of time.
Listen, feel, and let go.

You listen to no sound,
look at no object,
just feel the sensation of your pulse:
the pulse in your arms,
in your wrists, in your legs.
Feel, deeply, and let go of all else:
just sit and listen.

Feeling the breath, we are ready to find the pulse;
feeling the pulse, we are ready to look deeper,
to subtler sensations and the experience
of Mind beyond.

Once the flow of a chattering mind
has slowed and settled to a near-silent purr,
the mind no longer running around,
it is as the silence at the start of a concert:
a space to enjoy and listen.
And listen we should, as the orchestra is readied,
listening intently in the silence,
we await the experience that follows.

So it is with meditation.

Quiet is the beginning,
it is the state on which you build…
but build what?

Progress along your inner path,
with just quietness and an awareness of your breath,
will be slow and shallow, missing the possibilities
that a quiet mind opens us to.

Don’t think that quietness is the be-all and end-all of meditation, or smoothness and slowness the entirety of Tai Chi.  For sure you need these things in your practice, just as a house needs foundations and an concert needs silence for the orchestra to play in. But it is on the foundations that the house is built, and in the silence that the orchestra plays.  We must build the house and make the music, and this means practice beyond simple silence and peace of mind.

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From → Philosophy, Tai Chi

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