I continue to read Shinzen Young (The Science of Enlightenment), and always with the thrill of discovery. No one, and I mean no one, has opened up the insides of mindfulness meditation more for me.
You know you’re keeping good company with a book you can’t stop scribbling in with notes and highlighting. Later, I become this grasshopper–or better–a frog leaping pages, landing on passages, sometimes amphibiously diving beneath, feeding on nuances that the residual of absence makes clearer and often multiplies.
My guru tells me that any experience, even if painful, yields relief when I pin it with concentration rather than avoidance as many of us do.
Doing so, we make a breakthrough, at long last, mining insight into our Self, that vein of subterranean opaqueness affecting so much of our surface life. The frog thing again.
If mindfulness begins with concentration, it succeeds with clarification, simply because it detaches us from the Self or Ego within us, affording us that rare objectivity.
A still further dividend is that our own wrestlings dissolve in a humility energizing our capacity to love each other more fully.
We measure mindfulness’ success in the amelioration it brings to our daily lives in the acceptance of the finiteness within ourselves and others, creatures never standing still, but always becoming.
While mindfulness can lead us to moments of ecstatic release from the shoulder heavy burdens of anxiety, worry, and resentment–even physical pain– it’s not really about that. Physical suffering, for example, may linger, but it no longer pervades.
Successfully done, mindfulness helps us live happier lives. independent of life’s circumstances with their undulations of good and bad:
Ordinary experience, when greeted with concentration, clarity, and equanimity catalyzes a process of insight and purification which culminates in the ability to have complete experiences whenever you want. This theory is quite elegant. It has all the marks of good science….It well deserves the name, “science of enlightenment.”
There’s so much more I !d like to say, but it’s early morning as I lie in bed, prepping for a new day with its granary for both promise and regret; but as Frost insists, “I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.”