It’s mid-afternoon on one of those palpably gray and dreary days in the middle of winter. The hoot of an owl reverberates from beyond a trio of small redwoods on the bank of the stream. The sound transforms the atmosphere, imbuing the place with mystery and depth.
An older woman with a large dog comes by, a local activist that’s been volunteering with various organizations locally since the wildfire that destroyed nearby Paradise. I’d spoken to her at this meditation place before; she clearly has her finger on the pulse of what is happening in town.
She begins talking about a refuge for homeless people, mostly single men, “not many families—that’s too sad,” she adds. She looks drawn and haggard, with bags under her eyes and a slump in her shoulders. She’s smart, and has that sharp manner of people a little too sure of themselves.
I listen and say little, wondering what she’s getting at. She drops hints about the homeless place needing volunteers, “especially at night.” Not understanding meditation, she obviously thinks I’m not doing anything and she’s trying to fix that.
Abruptly she begins to walk away. ‘My name is Martin by the way,’ I say. “I’m Hillary,” she replies, “and this is Blackie,” nodding toward her dog without a trace of irony.
I return to ‘doing nothing,’ Initiating the negation of meditation is the single most important thing a human being can do. It’s more important than scientific discovery, having children, activism, or any job, much less money and things.
The foundation and wellspring of meditation in the individual are self-knowing and self-responsibility, with the lifelong feeling, “I don’t know.” When the mind as thought is completely still, one sees and feels nature and the universe are in a state of meditation.
One cannot seek God; one can only negate the observer, thought and time. Then what we call God may come. When we ignite negation in meditation, we are part of the creative source from which the ongoing creation of the universe and nature flows. This is why we’re here on Earth, if we’re here for any reason at all. Instead, man is destroying the Earth, and himself.
There aren’t various kinds of meditation; there’s just meditation. To my heart and mind, a complete meditation means igniting the self-sustaining movement of negation through passive awareness of the outer and inner movements without division. (Even as the duality of the ‘outer’ and ‘inner’).
Further, meditation means the spontaneous ending of time as thought, and thought as time in undivided, undirected attention.
Unlike methods from the East, true meditation does not deny the senses. Quite the opposite. Meditative states begin with heightening and harmonizing all the senses. That’s why taking sittings in nature is so important. One hears the rush of the stream and the hoot of the owl; one smells the scent of the bay leaves and damp earth; one feels the brush of the chilly breeze on one’s face.
Just as you don’t choose these things, but simply attend to them, so too in attending to the senses you become aware of the inner movement of memory, association, emotion and imagination. Attending to the inner movement in the same way, without judgment or choice (especially when so-called bad things like anger, envy or self-pity come up) the mind and heart let go and fall silent.
Separation is the utilitarian essence of thought; division is the mistaken essence of the self. My family, my country, my land. We would not be humans if we did not separate, but we cannot be human beings as long as long as we divide.
Separation/manipulation of nature is basis of all knowledge and technology, and allow us to build worlds. But division is the fundamental psychological mistake, the original and ongoing sin of man.
Man has run out of room to keep making this mistake, both with the Earth and within us. Taking ‘human nature’ as a given guarantees that man will continue to plunder the Earth, and destroy humanity’s spiritual potential, in equal measure.
Living in a dead culture, one cannot inwardly survive without learning the art of quieting thought and emptying the mental and emotional accumulations we all absorb.
Humans are regressing; learning the art of unlearning, of dying to the past, we grow into human beings. The old, degenerating human species must die for the new species of human beings to be born.
Lefevremartin77 at gmail.com