The beginning of this story about Lakers’ coach Luke Walton has a few discussions about meditation and a mindfulness app.
“Bring your mind to one point and wait for grace.”
~ Ram Dass in Polishing the Mirror, on what the Maharaji told him
“I view spiritual practice as the freeing of awareness from identification with anything ... One of the ways to do that is, for example, to pick an object of concentration and focus on that, and let everything else come and go. So let’s say I’m gonna follow my breath, rising and falling, rising and falling. Now my awareness can feel that muscle going up and down, that’s really where the focus is.”
I meditated last night until I started falling asleep. I kept trying to fight through the sleepiness, but it was to no avail.
I got up, went to bed, and almost immediately had one of those “You’re not Al, you’re somebody else” dream or dream-like experiences (like when Captain Picard went unconscious on the bridge and lived another life). After a long period of time I woke up in a bed with tears streaming down my cheeks because of what had just happened. (A friend died in my arms.) I sat up, looked around, but couldn’t figure out who or where I was. With my body/brain/mind rejecting the situation, I barfed into the trash can by the bedside. I was glad someone put that there.
After somewhere between thirty and ninety seconds I remembered who/where I am. With my body shaking as usual after one of these experiences, and not wanting to go back to sleep, I bundled up and went for a long, cold, after-midnight November walk. The clear sky was beautiful, and I was glad to be alive, even if I felt like crap. I made a note to myself that I need to take midnight walks more often, I appreciate the solitude.
~ November 12, 2015
In the ancient Sanskrit language, the word “dakini” can be interpreted as a female embodiment of enlightenment, an outstanding female practitioner in yoga and meditation.
In Tibet, the word for dakini is “khadroma,” and it literally means “female sky-traveler.”
I’ve found this to be a good metaphor for practicing mindfulness 24 hours a day.
The actual practice is that whenever your mind wanders you gently bring your attention back to your breath. An important point is that just as you wouldn’t get angry at the spoon, you also don’t get angry at yourself for becoming less mindful; you just return your focus to your breathing.
(Sorry I don’t remember which book I saw this in at the moment.)
“Eventually we develop a continuity of awareness that allows us to maintain full awareness during dream as well as in waking life.”
~ from the book, The Tibetan Yogas Of Dream And Sleep
Today is a day off for me, so when I woke up and laid in bed with my eyes closed and noticed that the dreams were still playing, I decided to let them continue to roll on while I lay there awake.
After the same dream kept replaying itself in different ways, I noticed that an old woman was usually standing behind me and to my right, observing the dreams. I didn’t bother to ask her who she was, I just jumped right to my main question: “Why am I seeing these things?”
She answered, “You need to resolve these situations to your own satisfaction.”
So I laid there for about two hours — about the length of going out to see a movie, I figured — letting the dreams go on and trying to understand and somehow “resolve” them. The old woman was always there, so every once in a while I turned to her and asked her another question. She willingly answered everything I asked.
“Having a direct experience of seeing everything one looks at (including one’s own body) as moving subatomic particles alters the perception of ‘me’ and of the substantiality of what we regard as ‘normal’ reality.”
In general I try to avoid swearing these days, but sometimes you just need to get your point across. Meditate, let it go ... forgiveness is good for your heart, and good for your soul.*
* Forgiveness doesn’t mean you should be a carpet for others to walk on.