How do you hold to no preference when an outcome obviously seems desirable? Making money vs. not? Being happy vs. not?
Being with the unhappiness, and then letting go it, will change the state of being. States are transitory. Everything is transitory.
Accept, acknowledge, let go.
Being present should eventually cause transition to the new state of being. Emotions are internal manifestations of events, not the events themselves. Thoughts are internal. Feelings are internal.
Sitting alone in a room won’t make you upset. What you think and feel in that moment may cause you unhappiness. But nothing in and around you is making you unhappy. You can acknowledge the feeling, and then try and let out pass from you naturally.
Accept. Let it go.
If this is difficult, turn your attention wholly to your surroundings, or, in a meditative way, to your breath. Focus on the sensations.
That is being present, and that is one path to non-preference.
I’ve been practicing my meditation more these past two weeks. My time has been less pressing, at least until I start my next job. I’ve carved out a little corner with a Buddha, a hamsa, and a zafu cushion.
Some of the guided meditations I’ve used come from the app Insight Timer. I’ve also purchased meditations from the CDM Spiritual Center. The latter was recommended to me from a spiritual healer I had been introduced to back in 2016.
In my meditation, and in my journaling, I’ve been exploring the fact that many of us suffer duality in our lives. The masks we wear for outer acceptance, and the true self that lies somewhere deeper.
The Zen poem Hsin Hsin Ming states:
Faith mind are not two
Nondual faith mind
I suppose I take it to mean that both mind and reality can easily be split in two (or more) parts, if we allow it to. But everything is one whole, and in accepting that oneness, we release that perception of future desires, or past regrets, and live entirely in the moment.
It’s the doing of that which is a bit difficult…
I fail at meditation more often than I succeed. I do idle well. But doing nothing. That takes some practice.
For many months my meditation practice was an early morning activity. I would generally write my morning pages, then sit and focus on my breathing. Five minutes. Six. Ten. I think I made it to fifteen minutes daily.
The more outside concerns I let creep in to my day, the more difficult it was to focus on meditation. I began missing days. Both of breath work and stillness, as well as my morning pages. The past several months have been completely inconsistent – as evidenced by the frequency of my blog posts.
The outside world isn’t outside. It’s the world, and we are a part of it. It is the lotus blossom, and our job is to hold it in our hands. Each of us.
I’m reminded of a Saturday morning cartoon I used to watch: Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?” (now reimagined on Netflix).
Young detective Zack is sitting with a zen monk who is making tea. (This is from a memory of probably 20+ years ago, so it may be hazy). The monk is taking his time preparing tea, and Zack is being anxious. The monk tells Zack to meditate. He says there isn’t time. And the monk responds, “That is why you need it.”
In meditation, especially early on in your practice, you will find yourself fidgety. Attention drifts, as it does when we focus on other things as well (work, personal life, wherever). The important thing is not to fight with yourself over the distraction, but to accept it, acknowledge it, and then it let it past you.
Like a rock in a river, many different things may bump and nudge you. You do not push back, but let it roll past you on its own journey.
Mindfully accepting distraction, and releasing it, is as much a part of meditating as the sitting in stillness.