This new life at Mariposa is opening my mind to discovery Meditations are more settled and concentration comes easier. My mind is quieter during the day too and I am observing deeply again. The theme of most my meditations these days is feeling, recognizing the pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral quality of physical and mental experiences. My body was so active this morning during sitting: itching, tingling, and chilling sensations coming and going everywhere like fireworks. It’s becoming easier to retreat into the space of just knowing, shifting my awareness into the vast and formless sky these sensations arise in and see them as just fireworks. No matter how loud and bright they fireworks are, they cannot touch the sky. It is so tranquil and my face beams with the knowledge that here is the path to peace. I have it. It's right here.
And then it’s gone.
Driving into town this morning I noticed a negative and heavy mood; there was a general tone of ill-will with regard to everything I perceived. I felt into this mind state and it dawned on me that I was feeling sluggish and had a slight headache. I immediately shifted back into the meditative sky of awareness and realized, “these are just sensations in the body.” After that, the mood evaporated and I delighted in the golden sunlight shining through the golden dust from the road on the golden grass.
It is clear I shouldn’t become attached to meditative experiences. No matter how profound the bliss of sitting meditation, its nature is to depart because it is conditioned by the artifices of samadhi. There is no experience or realization or insight that will result in a steady and permanent feeling of bliss. It’s just a mood. Though the story of the Buddha’s enlightenment emphasizes the realization he came to under the Bodhi tree, what is most important to remember is that even after his “enlightenment” he maintained a diligent mindfulness practice. Enlightenment is not the end of practice. It is merely the beginning.