Sunday, February 5, 2006

Meditation

At some point today after waking up and realizing that it was just a dream, that I really didn't have an all-important bicycle race looming in my future, I picked up the latest issue of Yoga International, one of several magazines I subscribe to even though I don't have time to read them. But...I had to have something to peruse while I drank my coffee, and I opened to a book excerpt by someone calling herself Gangaji and man, could I grok what she had to say:

"the meditation practice perpetuated by most people in the world is this: 'I am this body, I am these thoughts, I am these emotions.' There may be breaks where some kind of formal meditation is practiced, but then it's back to the strongest practice: 'This is me, I am this body, these are my wants, this is what I have to have, this is what I don't have.'"

She goes on to say that this "me meditation" is "a meditation of suffering. Because it is so widespread, it is overlooked. It is thought of not as a practice, but as reality."

Italics mine. Mine because, dammit, Laura has lately been trying to talk, shock, jolt, tease, argue, scare, joke, love me out of intensive me-meditation. I'm getting better about it, but...

Gangaji sounds like an advaitin, and I admire advaitins and have learnt a fair bit from them, especially Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, and of course my dearest Lord Sri Ramakrishna, the advaitin Who disguised Himself as a bhakta. But it's the bhakti that keeps me coming back for more, as I'm not smart enough for advaita (although later I'll tell you about an advaita practice I improvised to help myself ignore shin splints while walking).

My guru says that bhakti and advaita and ritualistic religion all lead to the same union with God...and I'm trusting Her, and trusting Laura, Who once showed me the Brahman in branch tips, in gravel, in sun-scorched grass, in me...not "me," you understand, but...me.

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