Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Both ordinary and profound

I found a little blog entry today called "Meditation and Intimacy". Here's the part I really liked:
It is so easy to sit down in meditation and to secretly hope that something extraordinary will happen, that through the practice of meditation, somehow our ordinary experience will become something much more exciting, something ‘mystical’ perhaps. And this leads to overlooking the very simple, very ordinary experiences that are going on: the rise and fall of the chest as we are breathing, the fluttering of thought and desire, the itch in our left armpit, the cool breeze coming through the window, the sound of traffic in the distance.

However, when we start to take account of these ordinary experiences, then they take on a new light. Take the breath, for example: whilst, at first glance, the breath seems a simple, mechanical process (in-out, in-out, in-out), the more we attune ourselves to the endlessly subtle processes involved in breathing, the more complex and profound they appear to be. It is an ordinary kind of profundity, not the kind of pseudo-profundity that comes from adding some Great Truth or other onto experience, but it is a kind of profundity nonetheless.
We experience a deep appreciation of the ordinary when we're practiced meditators. It's quite wonderful.

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