Inspiration Meditation: Presence, Practice and Process by Orna Ross
Posted on August 21, 2013 by Kira Kenley
Making meditation a practice means doing whatever you need to do to inhabit this free, open and unconditioned experience — your creative consciousness.
That may – for most of us does – mean a cross-legged session on a cushion once or twice a day but the act of sitting, and the ritual deployed there, is just a container: the discipline within which the freedom can flourish, the action that shows our everyday, thinking mind that we’re serious about letting it go for a while.
The more often we practice meditation, the more creative-consciousness becomes our habitual state. It rises more readily and lasts longer, on and off the cushion.
We can never close down con-mind, the weaver of our thoughts, the furnace of our feelings, and neither would we want to. Thoughts are the breath of our mind, an intrinsic part of our human and individual nature and, like our bodily breath, they cannot be paused for long. But they can be slowed, they can be observed and they can be let go for a while.
Periodically, as often as we choose, thoughts and feelings can be replaced by the peace and ease of no thought and no feeling. We can come into the space, the creative core.
This is the simplicity of meditation as practice.
Meditation As Presence
Know that meditation does not, as some people seem to think, make you withdrawn or oblivious. On the contrary, it allows us to be more present with our thoughts and with the people, places, things and experiences that make up our lives, just as they are.
Through meditation, we come to observe life, and our reactions to it, without adding any more thought or emotion or opinion about how it used to be before, or how it should be, will be in future. We tune in to the wonder of being alive in this moment. We find ourselves marvelling at it all, as we did when we were children, before the cares and concerns of the world got us in their grip.
This is the magic of meditation. It clears the clutter that is accumulated by con-mind, the garbage and debris dumped over the clean, witnessing, marvelling mind that flows beneath and beyond. The depth of our own life is returned to us in all its ease and joy — notwithstanding the particulars of our life situation. We learn not only to love our life as it is but, simultaneously, to relish change, recognising that it is necessary for growth and, in any case, the only true constant.
That is wonder of meditation as presence, as open awareness and creative consciousness.
Meditation As Process
Understanding meditation as a process means, above all, letting it teach us how to return to the moment we are in. With meditation, we are much less concerned with any endpoint we might like to attain, than we are with observing, without excessive opinion or attachment, whatever is unfolding right here and now.
Processes like meditation, enlightenment, creativity: in their day-to-day manifestations, they are more akin to having a drink of water than to attaining something momentous. Why drink water? Because we are thirsty, because we like it. Once we have had the drink, what has happened? Only that we are no longer thirsty. Everything else is just the same — but it feels different, especially if we really needed that drink.
While it may be interesting to know how water works in the body, which organs aid its ingestion, how it affects our brains or skin or blood, none of that does anything for our thirst. And just because we had a glass of water yesterday doesn’t mean we don’t need to drink again today.
A meditation session is like this, a cooling, refreshing glass of water for our thirsty souls. Talking about it or thinking about it is only useful if it makes us do it. It’s not a process with an end, the end is in the doing.
Meditation, and the creative process, are quite unlike sport, games or competitions where there are winners and losers. As a meditator (and as a creator) you never get to say: Been there, done that, got the medal, bought the T-shirt. Neither can you fail — except by not doing it.
All you can say is that yes, you did meditate today. And you will meditate again tomorrow. That is the ease of meditation as process.