Was this meditation?

Robert McLune, modified 9 Years ago at 9/8/12 12:21 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/8/12 12:21 PM

Was this meditation?

Posts: 255 Join Date: 9/8/12 Recent Posts
About a year ago, before I started "formal" meditation (i.e. purposefully doing it), one Saturday morning I was feeling stressed. Nothing out of the ordinary; just the usual stresses of modern civilized life. But that morning, rather than deciding to go shopping, or deciding to catch up on laundry, or even just deciding to sit and play a video game, I guess I decided not to decide. I just sat in a chair, looking out over a sunny morning in the city, and did *absolutely nothing*. I didn't decide to do nothing. If I'd found myself motivated to get up and make a sandwich, or go for a walk, I would have. But I didn't. And that *absolutely nothing* included any kind of purposeful thinking. Not only did I not do the laundry, I didn't think about doing the laundry. And I didn't even entertain any guilt about not doing or not thinking about doing the laundry. And again, there was no effort involved in "not thinking". I didn't have to fend off thoughts -- there just *were no* thoughts. I literally just sat.

For all I know I had a stupid look on my face, my mouth may have open, and I may have been dribbling down my chin. I wasn't paying attention. I was just sitting. And I don't know how long I did it for. At least an hour I think. Probably more. I stopped when I felt like stopping (at which point I think I got up and went grocery shopping).

One thing that intrigues me about that experience is that whatever it was I was doing, it left me relaxed and refreshed, and in a way I had never experienced before *nor since*. "Formal" meditation, especially after reading MCTB, I find very hard work. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. Prior to starting to "do" meditation, and certainly prior to MCTB, I had this idea that meditation would be -- well, much like what I experienced that Saturday morning.

So, *was* I unwittingly meditating?

Is is a bad sign -- i.e. am I doing it wrong -- the fact that my current meditating practice almost never feels like that Saturday morning?

fivebells , modified 9 Years ago at 9/9/12 5:06 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/9/12 5:05 AM

RE: Was this meditation?

Posts: 563 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
Yes, that's a form of meditation, but developing the capacity to do it reliably generally comes from the more difficult formal meditation you've done since, and takes a long time. If I remember correctly, A Trackless Path was a retreat where the initial meditation instruction was to do nothing, and all subsequent discussion was about why that's difficult and ways to address the obstacles.

And no, your subsequent struggles are not necessarily a bad sign. Mara rarely permits a smooth path to peace.