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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Of Memories and Meditation - 15dec22

Memories of events long forgotten surfacing during effective meditation are nothing new. But what of similar memories surfacing during our meditation breaks (the parts of the day between our formal meditation sessions)? Although there are several causes, today I’d like to focus on just one.

Most of us were taught meditation wrong before we ever learned to do it right (assuming we were fortunate enough). We were taught to mind blank or we were taught to concentrate (which is the polar opposite of mindfulness).

Concentration is a contrivance, a rigidity of mind and will that often hinder mind’s self-healing mechanisms and undermine therapeutic recollection. But mind is persistent which (like water trickling down hill when encountering an obstacle merely flows around it) will reveal memories during our meditation break when the rigid concentration acts as a meditation-time blockade.

The solution, however, is simple. Replace stiff concentration upon our breath with free form mindfulness that is vulnerable, passive, visceral, and random. During each inhalation silently recite “Notice this…” and during each exhalation mentally recite “relaxing!”

Every five minutes or so (sitting this way) you could feel the “clunk” of your mind spontaneously descending from level to level (like landings on a stairway in an old and ritzy hotel) while memories, fantasies, and confabulations clamor for your attention as if hoping their conundrums could soon noticed and released while you meditate like a Jedi.

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