Friday, June 18, 2010

Go With the Flow

Taken from,2&offer=dharma

Go with the Flow

Guided Meditation with Shinzen Young

Take a moment to settle into your posture. Place some of your attention on your body sensations. At the same time, place some attention behind your closed eyes, where mental images are likely to be seen. Also place some attention in your head, where internal talk is likely to be heard. Get a sense of what it’s like to simultaneously focus attention in these three areas.

Now, if you’re aware of body sensation and nothing else, say “body,” out loud or to yourself. If you’re aware of visual thinking and nothing else, say “image.” If you’re aware of verbal thinking and nothing else, say “talk.” If you’re aware of more than one of these at the same time, choose one and focus on it. Label your awareness in this way every few seconds for ten minutes or so.

Now we’re going to add some detail. When you label “body,” that body sensation may last or disappear. If it disappears, say “gone.” Similarly, when you label “image,” that mental image may stick around or vanish. If it vanishes, say “gone.” When you label “talk,” that particular burst of talk may continue or die away. If it dies away, say “gone.” So, now you have four labels: body, image, talk, and gone. Continue in this way for another ten minutes or so.

Now, I would ask you some questions and give you some choices. If one of the elements (body, image, talk) was strongly activated, we might decide to work with that element in more detail. On the other hand, we might decide to pursue the opposite course of paying attention to the least active, most restful element. Or we might decide to simply continue with the procedure as we have been doing it. Let’s say that body sensation was very active and we decided to work with that. The continuing guidance might go something like this:

Bring all your attention to your body sensations. When you’re aware of a body sensation that seems solid and unchanging, say “solid.” When you’re aware of a body sensation that seems soft or flowing, say “flow.” Whenever you’re aware that a solid sensation or a burst of flow vanishes, say “gone.”

As you label in my presence, I would carefully listen to your tone of voice and pace. The goal is to note continuously, but not frenetically. I might give you feedback to speed up or to slow down. Furthermore, the tone of your voice gives me an indication of the depth of your equanimity, so I might ask you to change the tone. I’d also be listening for what proportion of the time you were noting solidity, fluidity, or vanishing. I would guide you differently depending on what predominated. Say, for example, that every three or four labels was “flow.” In that case, my continuing guidance might go something like this:

Now focus all your attention on that flow. Flow can occur in various “flavors”: waviness, vibration, expansion, contraction, and so forth. Focus all your attention on the flow in your body, ignoring solidity just for now. Also let mental images and internal talk be in the background. Each time you note “flow,” go with the flow. Let it massage you. Let it nurture you. Let it meditate you.

Thus, through an interactive decision tree, we would be able to spot a natural opening—in this case, insight into impermanence.


No comments:

Post a Comment