Thursday, April 15, 2010

Initial Results in Pratyahara

The body is contained in asana. The body and mind calmed through breath. It takes a subtle knack to move the point of view from thinker to observer, but once obtained is easily repeated and maintained. Initial attempts to concentrate are immediately assaulted by a riot of thoughts. Through the den I have noticed three main voices.

The first voice encountered was, The Planner. Considering my personality and my profession this was not surprising. Sadly he does not deal in the general or broad and far reaching dreams, but rather the very specific. Always planning, always list making, even plotting out how best to write up the current meditation in my journal. He is the task manager of the trivial and mundane.

The second voice encountered was, The Commenter. He also known by his other names, the Questioner and the Quoter. Once identified he persisted to even comment upon himself! He is the background radiation of thought, always on, always rambling.

The final voice is, The Rememberer. Although non verbal he is persistent in dwelling in the past, drawing up images and events from days to years earlier. There seems little rhyme or reason to the events he chooses to focus on.

I find it interesting in the fact that none of the voices are of the present. The near future and the past are well represented, but it seems my mind rarely deals with the here and now. The commenter aside, although he only indulges in idle and useless chatter, the unimportant. It would indicate that attention and action in the here and now is lacking in myself, and there is some truth to that.

My findings reinforce the idea that the practice of dharana is essential to silence these voices and learn to be present in the now. The past is done and will never change, the future is unwritten, the only power we have is in the now. Stream of thought is an illusion. The mind we dwell in most of the time is a turbulent storm of conflicting thoughts and voices. It is amazing any thought can be had at all above the noise. Higher forms of consciousness can be achieved and are desirable, bringing order the chaos. As it said in Liber Libræ, "The strife of contending forces must be reconciliated".

1 comment:

The Scribbler said...

I often encounter what I call "The most important thought in the world". Somehow my mind seizes on something and tells me I MUST think of this right now or the opportunity to think it will pass or I will forget it, or I'm being irresponsible for just meditating while this problem still exists and... and... and...

I simply smile at the thought and tell it gently that I will think about it when it is time to think about it, but for now it's time to focus on my breath.

In... out... in... out...