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The Walking Meditator (or How I Became, “That Guy.”) (Part 1)

By Billy | April 3, 2009

Reading this blog to get to know me is much like looking through a rain splattered stained glass window trying to make out a figure in the distance.  You know the direction I’m heading, you comprehend that I am more or less of humanoid characteristics, and you would probably note that I’m either heading in the entirely wrong direction as all the other obscured and mysterious blobs, at a complete standstill amidst the storm, or that I appear to be skipping as I go.

Each of the people I brush up against as I make my way along the sidewalk has a perfect and beautiful story to tell — each and every one.  I don’t know theirs, so I can’t tell you much about their lives, though.  I will take the liberty to assume that if you’re reading this, you have some sort of interest in things either relating to me or the things important to me.  Thus, I will tell you a fraction of a piece of a chunk of my life, with a cool little trick / challenge I recommend you (whomever you are) undertake.

Take a moment and look at your hands.  Are they gnarly?  Are they dry?  Do they twist and turn from years of use?  Are they covered with beautiful scars that tell an awesome story — that Christmas morning when you were cutting a blueberry bagle, of that time you forgot to love yourself and left a permanent trophy etched into your skin to remind you of your supposed failure, of that time you tried to ride your bike while wearing roller skates…  Bend your fingers…  What does that mean?  Are you bending only at the knuckle closest to your palm?  What does it feel like?  Make a fist.  Let it out.  Raise your middle finger as if someone had just cut you off.  Did you perse your lips as you did that?  Did anger arise in you as you flicked that finger out?  Spread each of your fingers out.  Can you feel the air surrounding you?  Can you feel your energy radiating out?

Have you ever really sat and thought about all the things there are to think about when it comes to your hands?  It’s really ridiculous.  Now realize that those are just your hands…  You still haven’t explored your eyes or their brows, your lips, your stomach, your arms, your legs, your butt, your _____, your etc…   Your FEET.  The motions I just asked you to do with your hands ignored, for the most part, that we are graced with a sense of touch.  Touching is amazing.  You are feeling things right now that you’re not even aware of.  Your fingers, your palms, your buttocks, your shoulders, your forehead, your tongue, your wrists, your toes, your chest…  Each of these is experiencing the sensation of touch right now.  We travel throughout our day completely unaware of the amazing myriad of things that we experience without ever soaking in.  (We won’t even bother getting into the other senses we ignore!)

The meditation I am most versed in is very simple.  The immediate purpose is to become aware of yourself, with a higher purpose of becoming aware of your surroundings, your connection to things “other than yourself” (I quote this because I question it’s validity as a phrase), and the things leading up to that which makes you you.

Meditation explores the pieces of existence most closely related to you, and how they interact with eachother and you.  Meditation is not just a thing that helps you as you are doing it, but it has long lasting, life altering affects.  I’m going to go over breathing meditation and the practicalites found within the practice.  It won’t take long.  (Thanks for sticking by me this long!)

This was going to be something different, but now it’s manifested in a silly narration with no special attention to stylization or anything…  😀

“Jane closed her eyes (or kept them relaxed and open, fixed on a single location on the ground in front of her).  She was sitting comfortably on the floor, legs crossed  “indian style,” half lotus, or full lotus.  She might have sat on a chair if she wanted to.  She breathed in slowly, then out.  At the finish of the exhale, she made a note in her head.  “One,” she thought.  As she inhaled again, she’d pay special attention to the sensation of air rushing past her nostrils (she was breathing through her nose, of course!) and as the coolness rushed over her soft pallet.  She would pay attention to the swelling of her diaphram, as the muscle did its work to expand her lungs, which forced that cool air even deeper into her body.  The exhale was warmer against her nostrils, and a bit louder, she noticed.  “Two,” she thought.  She repeated this process of awareness of her breating until she reached 10.  At 10 she’d start over for a second, and finally a third time.  Any time she’d get distracted by an ithc or a discomfort, she’d fix the problem and return to focusing on the breath — finding it easy to return to the task at hand.  If she lost count, she’d start back at 1.”

What Jane is doing is forcing her brain, very gently, to comprehend the eternal cause-effect relationship in the world.  As she masters the art of becoming physically aware of something as mundane as breathing, she will become more keenly aware to other things about herself she never realized.  No joke, this is what happens.

If you make it second nature to understand that by contracting your diaphram muscle, your lungs will expand, which will create a vacuum in your lungs, which will force air into your body, which will make a cold tickle in your nose, which will make a slight whistle………  Eventually your brain is keen on noticing the minute details in it’s processes.  This awareness of chain-reactions will make it easier for you to see that the guy who cut you off on the road was late for work and was just acting out of human nature, and that the reason you got upset was because he made you feel like you were less important than he was, which resulted in you wishing you appreciated yourself enough to know that it doesn’t matter what he thinks, which makes you lash out at him, because it’s easier to blame him than to face the lifelong burden of self-loathing that you’ve been avoiding for decades.

That might not be the exact reason you’re hurt, and it might not prevent your hand from sticking out the window with a gesture or two for the guy, but over time and with practice, you will become more aware of these chain reactions that happen every second of your life.  On top of that, meditation of the sort I described above will generally leave you with a nice centered feeling that will put you in a special, protected mental state for a while.

Now that you have that simple concept of meditation in your brain, I’m going to push “POST” without proof reading, and go to bed thinking about the chain reaction of events that led to me not doing my French homework, but writing a blog post that I didn’t know where it would take me when I started.  As understanding of the chain of events and interconnectedness of life expands, it becomes more difficult to be angry.  I believe that forgiveness comes from understanding — I understand that you’re human so I can love you, I understand that you and I are both divine and perfect beings so I need to love you, I understand that you have hard times every now and then so I forgive you.   I may be mad at myself for not doing my homework, but honestly?  It felt right to watch Garden State in my friends room.  It felt right to abandon my homework for the sake of a blog post.  When I understand that I was doing what felt right, the anger at my “misdeeds” disappears and is replaced with a content but nervous feeling.  I don’t erase my troubles, just my anger at them.  So anyway.   POST time.  Maybe I’ll edit tomorrow.  Maybe I’ll forget to get on with the REAL point of this post.  (Stay tuned for part 2!)

Topics: Philosophy, This is my life | Comments Off on The Walking Meditator (or How I Became, “That Guy.”) (Part 1)

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