|Being a Meditator in the World|
Being a Meditator in the World depends on our Attention, Breath and Concentration (ABCs), and what we do with them. This overview introduces these key ideas and related dimensions of the meditative attitude toward experience. The concepts shown in the diagram are not as important in themselves as they are in what they stand for and in how they work together to awaken and nurture The Intuitive Self.
While reading, refer to the diagram to stress the importance of the relationships among these dimensions of experience. In the heading for each key idea, we have included the dictionary meaning of the term. This serves as a starting point for the particular meaning in this context.
Breath(air inhaled and exhaled freely)
The experience of a Meditator in the World rests on a foundation of the Breath. At the physical level, Breath is the essential ingredient in awakening The Intuitive Self that lies at the core of our being. Slow, continuous, smooth, diaphragmatic breathing creates an open space for The Intuitive Self while shallow chest breathing with pauses and jaggedness dampens its natural, spontaneous expression.
(having knowledge of something)
Our Awareness reflects the drama that is playing out in our mind's eye like a stage performance. The continuous flow of sensations, emotions, thoughts and images in the mind, pauses every so briefly here, there and elsewhere. These contents usually deal with rehashing the past or fantasizing about the future. For most of us, Awareness only occasionally comes to rest in the present moment where intuitive experience occurs.
(something that impedes achievement)
Physical Tension undermines the Meditator in the World attitude. In addition any time we recoil from Fear of or are attracted by Desire to something in Awareness, our purpose is distracted. Mental Clutter created by the typical ongoing chatter in the mind also leaves little room for the intuitive voice to be heard above the noise and confusion. Tension, Fears, Desires and Clutter dictate our behavior when we relinquish control to one or more of these distractions.
(applying the mind to an object)
Our Attention emerges when a part of us begins to recognize the flow of Awareness. When we realize there is a drama playing out in our mind, we wake up to the dynamics of our personality. Through Attention, we notice the seemingly ceaseles flow of the contents of Awareness. Since very few people tune into their mental drama, Attention is a precious gift. Everyone has Awareness, but very few of us are really paying Attention.
(direction of attention to a single object)
Concentration represents the ability to fix Attention on a specific content of Awareness. When we use Concentration to narrow the focus of Attention by letting go of rehashing the past or fantasizing about the future, we come to rest in the present moment. Then The Intuitive Self can more easily express itself in our lives. A powerful basic practice for developing this quality is to Concentrate the Attention on the Breath (ABCs).
(control over one's own action)
Will is that part of us that uses discipline to gradually transcend the obstacles of Physical Tension, Fear, Desire and Mental Clutter. We use Will to deliberately bring Attention to the contents of our Awareness. We also use Will to develop Concentration to focus Attention on a specific content of Awareness as we do in the basic practice of attending to the Breath. As Will moves to center stage, our actions flow more from the center of our being in accord with our life's purpose.
(an expert analyst)
The Observer is a part of our personality that intentionally monitors and evaluates the free flow of Awareness or that part of Awareness on which we have chosen to focus Attention. We discriminate and judge with our Observer in the context of the biases we bring to the interpretation of experience. Our Observer's judgment can be distorted to varying degrees by distractions arising from the Obstacles.
(attestation of a fact or event)
As we learn to disidentify from the four Obstacles, our Observer slowly matures into the Witness. While the Observer makes distinctions and forms opinions, the Witness notes what is in a non-judgemental way and allows the next moment to express itself. The Witness behaves like a news reporter taking notice of the facts and reporting them without bias or judgment. This attitude represents the Taoist wei wu wei (doing not-doing) state of being.
Meditator in the World
When we master the ABCs and learn to step back from the mind allowing our actions to flow of their own accord, we become a Meditator in the World. Then we are cooperating with the unfolding of our physical and psychic energy rather than being at the mercy of distractions. As we disidentify with the contents of Awareness and cooperate with The Intuitive Self, our soul's destiny manifests in the world. We are free to be who we really are!