If we’re not trying to control so much, a lot of the meditative experience is actually naturally occurring.– Adyashanti, The Boundless Awakened Heart
What does Adya mean by meditative experience? I am not sure, but I assume it may be basic meditation – to notice and allow what’s here and rest in that noticing and allowing.
In general, the more we try to control our experience, the more we are distracted by that attempt at control, and the less available our attention is to notice what’s here.
And the less we try to control our experience, the more free and available our attention is to notice what’s already here.
So what may we notice if we relax trying to control our experience?
As mentioned above, basic meditation is about noticing and allowing what’s here.
If we intentionally try to notice and allow, we may find it’s not really possible. Our attention is too distracted. We get caught up in efforts to control our experience.
After struggling with that for a while, we may find that the noticing and allowing is already happening. We may find that basic meditation is more essentially about noticing the noticing and allowing that’s already here.
The experience that’s here is already noticed by consciousness, effortlessly and naturally, and before any thought comes in commenting on it.
And it’s already allowed. It’s already here so it’s already allowed – by existence, space, mind.
Basic meditation is essentially about noticing that our experience is already noticed and allowed, rest in that noticing, and allow it to work on us. To shape and transform us.
And all of this is easier the less we engage in trying to control our experience. Trying to control binds our attention. Relaxing that effort frees our attention to notice what’s already here.
What I mentioned above is already a basic form of inquiry, and it can lead to further insights.
We may consciously try to notice and allow, and find we cannot really do it, or can only do it very imperfectly.
We may then notice that the noticing and allowing is already happening, and we can invite that noticing to work on and transform us.
We are built conscious and open for the world. We cannot escape it.
This is already a form of inquiry. We notice certain basic things about what’s here and how the mind works.
As mentioned above, when we try to control our experience, our attention tends to be caught up in that effort. And the less we try to control, the more attention is available to notice what’s already here.
What are some of the things we may notice?
We may notice that trying to control our experience is ultimately futile. The content of our experience – thoughts, emotions, sensations, reactivity, and so on – lives its own life. It’s already here before we even consciously notice and can relate to it or make up a story about it.
We may notice the overlay of mental images and words that our mind puts on the world. The constant commentary. And how this commentary brings us into certain states. That it’s really just innocent questions about the world. That it’s not ultimately true. It’s different in nature from what it comments on. And even within the realm of stories, it’s not any final or complete story.
We may notice the changing nature of our experience. All content of our experience is always changing. Nothing stays the same. If all of this is always changing, including any experience of being this human self or an I or me, is that what I more fundamentally am?
We may find we more fundamentally are capacity for the world as it appears to us, including this changing experience of this human self and the world. We may find we more fundamentally are what all of this happens within and as. And that any attempt to give it a label or to pin it down is ultimately futile and misleading.
We may explore what happens when we keep noticing our more essential nature. Does it allow our human self to reorganize and transform within that noticing? We may find that this is an ongoing process with no finishing line.
All of this is a natural and essential form of inquiry, and it’s something built into us. We are naturally curious about these things, and we naturally notice if we allow that noticing to take place.
By not trying to control so much, attention is more available to notice what’s already here. And what’s already here is the essence of basic meditation. It’s more a question of noticing that it’s already here and resting in and as that noticing.
Within this is a natural and simple inquiry. We may notice some of the dynamics of the mind. We may notice the noticing and allowing that’s already here. We may notice it’s built into the mind and what we are. We may notice the changing nature of all content of experience, including anything within the content of experience we may take ourselves to be. We may notice what we more fundamentally are, in our own first-person experience. We may explore what happens when we rest in that noticing and allow it to work on us. And so on.
We may find that all of this is an ongoing process with no apparent finish line. Read More