Monday, June 19, 2006

Meditation Corner

Okay boys and girls, here we are in my newly designated "meditation corner." I am no dharma teacher (that would be bad karma!) however, after meditating for 12 years I have noticed a few things. First of all, through the process of meditation, we tend to peel off layers of the constructed self. This is well discussed by many real dharma teachers all over the world, and yet even very advanced dharma practitioners seem to miss it. It reminds me of that scene in Star Wars III where the governor (or whoever that guy is who brings Darth Vader over to the dark side) morphs into his true self. Now actually, in terms of the path of meditation, that is not actually his true self. His face changes and he becomes incrediby deformed. (I totally love that scene). This happens often to meditators who begin genuine seeking. After a time, they may become sick or strange or not recognize themselves in the mirror. Often times this is misunderstood, as I myself did, as a discovery of who we "really are." More accurately, this would be described as "who we really think we are." Sometimes, under a layer of personality, lies a hidden (to our conscious psyhes) self-loathing, a belief that we are useless or undeserving. When this emerges as the only accessible layer, we mistake it for our real and hidden identity, which is simply a part of the layer. On the flip side, some find a layer of arrogance. Some meditate for years, something falls away, and suddenly the meditator thinks they are Jesus Christ. Again, it would be a mistake to think that this was a discovery of the true self. It is simply a layer of identity. Most of us have all of these layers which we must peel away at an excruciating rate. Unfortunately, people can get stuck at certain layers. What happens if a meditator has an experience of a state which is blissful, perhaps buddha-like? Their particular layer of unconscious material might say, "I knew I could get enlightened, and it's happening right now." What then? Where in these traditions is there a checks and balance system for this type of experience? It is important to remember that all of these experiences are relative experiences. From the perspective of the self, the ultimate does not even exist, only more layers of self. From the perspective of the ultimate, the self doesn't exist. Reliance on the guru these days does not insure, unfortunately, a proper reflection.
Just some things to chew on.


Jess Byers said...

Hey there. I am really enjoying reading your blogs! I think it's amazing how you can articulate these things, but I guess that's what you get from a MDiv from Naropa... Maybe soemtime I'll have a more interesting response.... For now, I really hope you keep posting here. Rock on. Come visit. :)

ira herbst said...

I am so proud that my daughter is as insightful and smart as her blogs show her to be!

mtbox said...

I'm hoping we get to hear more from this amazing, talented, and clear seeing writer as soon as possible.