A bird never has to be present. The wind never tries to improve itself out of a sense of being not good enough. A cow never proclaims, “I have awakened.” These are human words uttered out of the desire to free ourselves from uncomfortable sensations. When sensations are allowed to be as they are, even humans don’t have to try to be present, improve themselves or proclaim “I have awakened.”
– Scott Kiloby
This is something that has been especially alive for me recently. I see that when attention escapes into images and thoughts, with a slight sense of compulsiveness to it, it’s because I try to run from sensations here. I may escape into images and thoughts that are entertaining (a conversation, movie, reading something), or exciting (for instance about the future), or explaining (past, future, present), or fearful (future), or regretful (past), and it doesn’t matter. It’s the escape itself that’s interesting. And what I escape from is sensations, and sensations with a certain label and thoughts around it. What thoughts may say is an uncomfortable feeling in my body, restlessness, a slight sense of dread, and this means something. It means that something terrible has happened, or will happen, or is happening. And another thought says it’s better or easier to not face it, to run away, to not remind myself of it.