A colloquialism favored in the state of Maine is that you can’t get there from here, or – spoken as a Mainer “you can’t get they-ah from he-ah.” But, why talk about Maine when the topics of this blog are mindfulness, awareness and compassion at the bedside? (with bits of the mundane daily stuff tossed in for grins)
The “from here” that we work with when beginning meditation is our ordinary – some might say deluded – mind. And, the “there” that we’re working to achieve to some degree is a state free from delusions, free from distractions.
The premise of most spiritual and meditative disciplines is that the non-deluded state of mind exists as a potential within all of us. This non-deluded or original mind, known as the Divine Mind in Christianity, the Atman in Hinduism, Buddha-nature in Buddhism, etc, remains for most of us a concept, a goal at best, which we attempt to realize through the practice of various meditative and contemplative methods.
The problems that most of us beginners encounter as we attempt to “get there from here,” is that the very cause of our delusions, our untrained mind, is all that we’ve got to work with. It’s like trying to use two broken legs to walk to the emergency room; you just can’t get there!
In fact, if we have any faith in the potential of meditative and contemplative practices to free us from our habitual patterns of distraction and delusion, and there seems to be plenty of evidence that this can happen, then we have to assume that those who have been able to do so have had to use their mind to get from “here” to “there.”
But…what if there’s no there, and no here? What if the there-ness of our true nature of mind is just obscured by the here-ness of our habits in our way of seeing? And what if our habits are no more than our way of thinking and our tendency to follow after thoughts, one upon another, until we make them seem very real. Then, that would mean that “all we have to do” is to sit and observe our mind without getting entangled with whatever arises.
Let’s assume that this is the case, and for now – for today – let’s take all of the thoughts and assumptions that we have about things a little less seriously. With our thoughts, as one great master said, let’s be like a wise old person watching children play; amused but not particularly involved in the play. For today, for now, let’s not get caught up in our thoughts. Let’s “just dare” to take all of what we think and feel a little less seriously. As Mingyur Rinpoche (pictured in this post) does so easily, let’s laugh a little at our tendency to take our dramas so seriously….and see what happens!
As always, please feel free to share your comments. Let me and others know what situations you find yourself in when you’re able to relate to the present-mind, unimpeded by distractions. And, as always, please feel free to contact me if you’d like to see additional content or other discussions on this site.
For more information on how to meditate, exercises in working with the breath, and other nifty stuff, please see the Related Posts below. Also, don’t forget to download the free ebook, Can Meditation Change the Way that You View Your World?, for help with getting started in you meditation practice. Also, you can now download the new ebook, How to Work with the Four Distractions to Meditation.
NEW – this site has a new page, Media page, where you can find articles, MP3 tracks for downloading, and videos on the subject of meditation.