There’s a phenomena going around. I noticed with many meditators in various groups I’ve joined they began finding that by siting still for long periods.. and letting go of thought, over weeks and months they were actually starting to experience feelings of emptiness and detachment, rather then positive sensations of being connected to the universe. In class the Master assured us “Thats not it, meditation is all about feeling connected to the universe”, yet for some reason many students in the west weren’t experiencing that. Something was causing many of us to epxericen something different even while performing the same meditation. We were all doing standard meditation, notching fancy or esoteric specialized version. I had been preforming longer and longer meditations myself, I had been noting the same thing, and began noticing that others were having this experience too, though they too found it hard to talk about, because it seemed to fly in the face of everything we were practicing and being taught, and we didn’t have an alternative solution. “i just want to be sure that i’m doing it right” i remember one student saying. the master said “more meditation, trust the practice” but i reaciznied that like myself, this student was devoted and performing the right practice, yet he was falling into this same dilemma, the empty meditation. being devoted to your practice, yet coming out less satisfied inside of more.
“Negatives should be replaced with positives” yogi David told me (in essence) when i asked about this dilemma to the guru. that was a resaruign statement, yet i hadn’t actually heard much about this, and it seemed like more of the teachings reinforced a kind of letting go of all atachemtns. ‘service’ was the positive that was encouraged, so i detoed myself much to this in recent years. to try and rediscover that positive meditation expreice. i was around people more and finding ways to benefit them, i spent lots of time with deep listening and being present with people because i found that felt right and i let my feelings guide me. and then when i returned to meditations i did find some of the positive feeling had returned.
Yet after years of this there was a kind of dropping out in my energy. It wasn’t creating the same good feeling or energy benefit any more. It was at this time that i began noticing that environment really effects me, positive simulating environments with sunlight, verses blank walled in environments with drap colors, no simulation, nothing interesting or fun going on. (there i go using the word fun, i’m getting ahead of myself). This made me think a lot, these meditators who were having empty and neshilstic feelings during meditation, they were all from the city, the apartment style life. When the guru himself lived in japan, my other guru lived in (i can’t remember now) they whet back overseas to out door well lit environments that revoved around nature. We city meditators spent a lot of time indoors. I even began to wonder that the body itself preofmend a kind of photosynthesis, that our cells might in fact absorbs light, because i notice how much a sunlight out door environment could boost my energy during meditation vs mediating indoors facing the wall.
It was true all along, (we weren’t lying), we were all doing the right meditation practice, but the physical location of WHERE we did it, was aurally having a hug impact on our health and energetic wellbeing.
I recall my master/guru saying “Even back in my home country, i go to ashram, and many meditators they have ego! they don’t realize it, but they develop ego!” i could picture what he was saying in my head, that stiff persona, but now looking back on this after being so far down that path myself i wonder that perhaps, all these meditators were actually ding the -right practice- yet it was actually CAUSING their bodies to become STIFF, deflated! I even remember this guru saying that he himself had days that were just sort of off and he didn’t know why, even after doing devoted meditation practice. I notice this, because i was already wounding if there was something significant that all of us were missing including the master. The master was having similar problems to all of us, yet because he was cultured in to be a master and loved by all of us as the master, it made it easier for him to see himself as the guru and play the role of the wise teacher in his life, and no disrespect to that.
And i haven’t even gotten into how i then disoverd that sitting still too long can be a problem, and that the body really needs a big dose of fun, dynamic creative movement and engagement, every day, to thrive. My sense of buddshim back then did not meet all the dynamic needs of my human body that i now understand better. Meditation was a tenie i tried, budissms was there for me at a time i needed something different, yet buddhists didn’t offer the detail on how to meet the more dynamic needs of my body, nor would i expect it to have had all the answers, yet it lead me forward to discovering something that did work more for me. So if your practicing buddhism, mediate out doors kids, or near windows, and i promote shorted meditations over then longer ones. 15 minutes is actually better then 3 hours in my opinion. Spend this rest of the time engaging in the world, or relaxing in other ways. The body needs to sprawl out, lay back, lean, bend. Were not built to hold one pose for too long. I learned this the hard way, don’t screw yourself like i did lol.
Also i realized the meditation i had known empasiesed ‘letting go of thought’ ‘clear mind’, it encouraged silliness, yet i realized much of my life had already been shaped and molded by stillness, hours of sitting still in class, my dose of that was already over full. now I’m more about allowing whatever thought some to come, fun thoughts, i realize the mind and body is in consiousant motion, on a subtle level, it seems like something we don’t talk about, but their is a deep reason for that, it’s rare or impossible to have a moment when the mind is completely clear or blank, or the body is perfectly still. some meditation teachers implied it was possible or even the goal. yet while i love relaxation and inner peace, i now realize there is deep reason why the body so much of the time needs at least a little subtle motion, matter itself is always vibrating, and now i underhand our bodies need this motion too, always honoring this subtle vibration. I promote being comparable allowing your worries to fade that is a big one, finding joy in uncertainty, the in-between and unplanned moments. hoping for and drawing my attention to a ‘clear mind’ in a way drew, me into my ~mind~, now i focus my attention more on having a ~full heart~ and i find this results in peace of mind as well. much of my life was also conditioned to value the mind, long before i got into meditation, yet for so much of this time i never realized how central the heart is in just about everything, it really is the bodies powerhouse, now i find i almost always am taking care of it, consciously, or just out of habit. listening to meditation instructors now i realize many talk about ‘allowing whatever thoughts arise in your mind to arise without judgment of them, no need to control them’ so there is a lot of buddhism i still agree with, no one told me ‘stop your thoughts’ maybe it was sort of implied by some, i was sort of lead there by a series of vague instructions or well intended mistakes, because buddhism is incomplete, like anything, much is mysterious and unfinished, so here i merely provide my ‘addition’ to what is already there! and caution about certain pitfalls. i don’t blame my teachers or anyone at all, most people live 90 years or less, and that just isn’t enough time to know everything. most of us pick something and get attached emotionally, because we just don’t have time to figure it all out, it’s important to recognize that and realize even teachers that speak confidently or are highly regarded still have much they don’t know, but maybe you know that already 🙂