Sunday, March 24, 2013

When human beings meditate

When human beings meditate
they sometimes close their eyes
and feel this body -
a flickering field of sensation
a tingling, hot and cold,
gravity here and there.

And attend to the breath
as the belly or nostrils
choose one
and stay there five years -

not the thought of the breath
but the sensations accompanying
each inhalation, each
exhalation.  The beginning
the middle and the end
of each in-breath
and the space between
where thinking wriggles free.

The beginning
and end
of each out-breath

and the space between
and thought
and the space between thoughts -

returning to the breath -
just the sensation breathing itself,
sensations sensing themselves
floating in space.  Even some idea of who
is doing all this
floats by.
Just another bubble.

Another thought thinking itself all by itself
the fragile moment
vanishing in space

returning to the breath
like a devotee to a vow.

Watching thoughts
think themselves,
unfolding one into the next -
existing only a moment
before dissolving, watched
frame by frame in the passing show,
even such notions as impermanence
passing in the flow.

Observing feelings arise uninvited -
pleasure and pain, desire and
disappointment, liking and disliking
all day long from thought
to thought, a surprisingly mechanical
process unfolds.
Watching consciousness dream world
after world, self after self, constantly pretending
someone to be, arising and dissolving
quicker than advertised, unconvinced
we really exist.

Sinking into the light of awareness
that floods consciousness and sees
what we are looking for is
what is looking.

The breath breathing itself,
thoughts thinking themselves
feelings feeling themselves,
moment to moment unfolding.

When human beings meditate
they sometimes close their eyes
and enter their body with mercy
and awareness - follow their thought
to its source, noting the pressure
at the base of the spine
and the fountain in the skull.

Sometimes when we meditate
nothing special occurs
for the very first time.

Stephen Levine