Polishing Zee Mirror.

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Jimi Patalano, modified 10 Years ago.

Polishing Zee Mirror.

Posts: 49 Join Date: 12/3/10 Recent Posts
So I don't get the chance to sit very frequently these days, because I'm so busy with school and work. But I'd like to have some idea if I'm doing something that will lead to insight, from the DhO's perspective...

The other day I thought that the best way to explain what meditation is like for me these days is "Polishing a mirror". Another phrase that I heard from someone else was "catching the present moment". I basically try to experience everything that happens to me as something in the present moment, non-judgementally, and realistically. At the best of times, thoughts are loud and clear like booming thunder, and I prevent myself from being tricked by recollections of the past, etc. This all happens on a moment-to-moment basis. I know that's not very clear so here's an example:

I become aware of a thought as it happens. It's just a random thought. A fraction of a second later I experience another thought, which is an analyzation of the first thought. What I try to do is see these two events for what they are - one thing and another. Both of them happen successively, each in the present moment. As soon as I think, "I just thought about so and so", I'm aware of that thought as a separate thought from the original "so and so" thought.

That's why I call it polishing the mirror. The goal is to experience all sensations and phenomena just as they are, and as they happen. So the mirror is my awareness, and I want it to be crystal clear and not warped or tarnished, and certainly I don't want anything sticking to it.

In practice, this happens to various degrees. I also apply it to physical sensations, but those tend to very quickly get swallowed by mental thoughts that follow them. For example, when an itch arises, of course I'm aware of the itch and try to experience it as it happens (moment-to-moment), but very quickly the thought "I feel an itch" arises, and of course I have to be aware of that. So for that reason it tends to keep coming back to mental processes, though at the best of times I remain somewhat distanced and objective toward these thoughts.

Something I tend to notice is a sense, as I become aware of things, of "pushing them off", sort of like you would push a heavy object off your chest if it was trapping you on the ground, or like a football player with the ball trying not to be tackled. When things happen, especially thoughts, there's a sense of "pushing them off" into the realm of objective observation, and there's something of a conscious effort to do this, which I try to be aware of as well.

I don't really note verbally very much, because it just seems to junk up the gears too much, and I would feel obligated to note everytime I note, and up looping off in an endless feedback loop. I prefer to just try to be aware of each event. The effort comes in "catching the present", in experiencing everything as it happens. When I "look back", on, say, a thought I had a moment ago, I try to experience the looking back as a completely separate present-moment experience in its own right.

So, I'd be interested to here any ideas about where I am on maps, btu more importantly, I'd like to hear thoughts on if I'm doing something that might be counter-productive or if maybe there's something you might think would help.

Thanks!
Trent ., modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Polishing Zee Mirror.

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Jimi Patalano:
The goal is to experience all sensations and phenomena just as they are, and as they happen.


why is that your goal?
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Jimi Patalano, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Polishing Zee Mirror.

Posts: 49 Join Date: 12/3/10 Recent Posts
Well it's the short-term goal for any individual meditation session. It seems to be a common emphasis of most types of Buddhist meditation. I guess framed in "three teachings" language, I'm working on insight rather than concentration... though more honestly I tend to take a more Zen-like approach where I try to develop some sub-jhana level of samadhi as a basis for investigatory insight work.

What sort of short-term goal do you personally usually go into a meditation sesh with? Just curious.
Trent ., modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Polishing Zee Mirror.

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Jimi Patalano:
Well it's the short-term goal for any individual meditation session. It seems to be a common emphasis of most types of Buddhist meditation. I guess framed in "three teachings" language, I'm working on insight rather than concentration... though more honestly I tend to take a more Zen-like approach where I try to develop some sub-jhana level of samadhi as a basis for investigatory insight work.


alright then ... why are you doing that? why are you investigating?

Jimi Patalano:
What sort of short-term goal do you personally usually go into a meditation sesh with? Just curious.


as i have not meditated in well over a year, i cannot provide a response to your question.

trent