The Open Field in Meditation
In one recent meditation class we explored ‘Just Being’, the art and science (and practice) of letting go of our meditation technique and ..
Just Being. With the moment. With our experience.
A meditation technique gives our mind something to rest with or focus on, and by nature requires a little effort; so that when we get distracted or lost in a thought we know to gently and kindly return to our technique. We may return once or a million times. In this way we are cultivating focus and concentration = meaning, stability of our mind.
I also believe there is great value in spending some time in the Open Field .. the space of non-doing or just being. This is where we drop into the spaciousness of the moment and allow our mind to roam, wander, shout, sing and exhaust itself .. knowing wisely that in time all will quieten.
Spending a little time in this Open Field whenever we meditate will, over time, build a much greater awareness of what is going on in our mind and body. A sensitivity to the ‘you’ that wants to control attention and a greater capacity to be present with whatever arises.
Just being with whatever occurs, helps us develop a greater tolerance to distractions, an ability to stay with those emotional states or sensations that arise .. and become more interested and skilled in exploring our experience in the present moment.
Shall I share where my mind went during our Open Field practice in class?
I thought about how tired I was (realising afterwards that I had not been getting enough sleep the past week), how hungry I was (I had skipped lunch), how I loved my daughter (sweet, intense) and an idea bubbled up about a great blog post to write (creativity) .. once I saw these distractions, sometimes when they were just starting to form and other times I was already totally invested in the story before I noticed .. and I recognised that they were just distractions, and then they tended to dissolve quite easily, and I was still again.