Rest Into Spacious BeingA meditation overview
This post is by Fran Slavich of Ride the Breath Yoga. Fran teaches a gratis meditation program at Vert & Vogue’s downtown Durham storefront the first Sunday of each month from 9:30–10:30 am.
We live in a special and unique time in history when the latest neuroscience research, and Buddhist and Eastern Philosophies, are intersecting in a powerful way. Researchers the world over are investigating how the Mind and nervous system work and are finding broad and consistent agreement with the teachings and philosophy of past and current Eastern Masters.
In short, there is a clear consensus that a strong, consistent, and skillful meditation practice will profoundly transform our lives in all ways positive.
Put simply, meditation is a practice to directly investigate limiting perspectives and beliefs which condition our moment-to-moment experience. Through this investigation, a more intimate relationship with our experience is recognized and stabilized. We begin to realize that our perspectives or points of view completely determine the quality and affect of our experience. This is a liberating insight. Furthermore, this deepening intimacy facilitates the direct knowing of Open Being, which is Always, Already, Right Here; the ever present NOW. We are That, so let’s relax and enjoy it.
The first step in meditation practice is Calming the Mind so that it can Stay on the object of interest, e.g., the breathing, bodily sensations, or visual images. This is a process not unlike training a new puppy to stay, sit, and heel. Without the training, the puppy runs all over the place led by the changing sights, sounds, and smells, of the environment. Similarly, an untrained Mind will also quickly chase after thoughts, sights, sounds, smells, and feelings of our environment. It will also jump back and forth from ruminating on the the past to anticipating the future; never even stopping to notice what is Right Here and Right Now. Calm-Staying practice is how we train the Mind to calm down and stay on the object of our attention. Once the Mind is trained, then we can direct it to stay on Itself.
With the development of some proficiency in calm/staying practice, Insight can be gained by directing the Mind to investigate Itself, and search for the “Me” that is thinking, seeing, hearing, and experiencing this reality. We look deeply and clearly for the attributes and characteristics of our Mind, and in this way we gain startling insights into its real nature.
Through Insight practices we discover that the self-imposed boundary of “Inside our Mind” and “Outside our Mind” is permeable and begins to dissolve. All of our experience is within our field of awareness and equally immediate. The structure of duality (subject and object) collapses and we experience Non-Duality; seer and seen collapse into seeing. This recognition is an illuminating and joyful experience; directly knowing the nature of reality as it has always been.
As our experience and familiarity of Non-Duality deepens and stabilizes, we begin to notice that the structure of Time Itself is conceptual and has been learned from others. There is only the NOW. Past and Future are illusions which we never actually experience in our lifetime. The Non-Dual Field of Being is All there Is; our sense of a separate witnessing self collapses; and we realize that the Wholeness of Experience Is It. The Field of Being is always already aware of its own infinite display; an inseparable union. This is Awakening.
About Fran and First Sundays at Vert & Vogue
Fran is the co-founder of Ride the Breath yoga studio. He’s practiced and taught yoga and meditation for over 20 years, with the Tibetan traditions of Maha Mudra (Great Embrace) and Dzogchen (Great Completeness) being the core of his practice and teaching. Find more of Fran’s reflections here.
To attend please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is first come first served. All experience levels welcome.