Contemplation and Insight

I’m a practical guy. I like techniques, instructions, things I can do and perceive. But I’m going to experiment with something more “felt” today. I wrote this during my sit this morning…

How do you unwind meaning? Let things have as much meaning as they need to have. How do you overcome resistance? Fully accept resistance. How do you stabilize insight? Let insight become as unstable as it needs to be. How do you let go? Allow yourself to hold on.

Does this leave you confused/annoyed? Maybe something clicked? Neither outcome is better. But in the hope that No Meditator is Left Behind, some thoughts about spiritual insight:

A verbal description of an insight (e.g. the above italicized paragraph) has no value unless it touches something implicit in the listener. In other words, it has to reach a part of you that already knows it’s true. So what if you hear an insight and there is no “implicit” recognition? Two options:

(1) Put it in your back pocket (or the garbage) and move on—a PERFECTLY good option. It may be the wrong timing, or the wrong words for you. That doesn’t make YOU wrong or bad or deficient. Language means different things to different people, and my interpretation of something could easily be different than yours. Second option: Meditate with it. “Contemplate” it—not in the intellectual sense, but more like, try it out. For example: in this moment, what does it feel like to “fully accept resistance”? What does it feel like to resist? How much am I resisting this moment? How do I know? In other words, what cues am I getting from my felt experience, right now, that there is resistance (irritation, aversion, impatience, “not-wanting”)? How do those feelings change over time?

The words that one chooses to express an insight are like memories of a dream—vague, murky references to an understanding that cannot be directly conveyed. We arrive at this understanding though open-hearted, engaged exploration of our direct experience—”contemplation” (e.g. as described above).

Still confused, but totally intrigued? GREAT! Want something to chew on? OK…answer this question as many times as possible for the next three months: “on a scale of 0 to 5, how much am I resisting this moment?” Then tell me how it went!

Posted in Equanimity, Impermanence, Pointers/Koans, Technique.

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