Peaceful Warrior

I decided to have a very quiet day yesterday stayed in bed a long time and left the computer off all day. Subsisted on healthy meals interspersed with comfort food (fruit and nut chocolate).

I’m an intermittent meditator, but I put in some practice which felt much needed.

I then went searching the bookshelves for The Way of the Peaceful Warrior. It’s been years since I read it, but I’d been reminded of it by the more recent movie (quite good but no substitute for the book). It was calling out to be read.

I don’t know about you, but I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with spiritual stuff, but yesterday I was hungry for it.

The bit that most stuck in my mind were the nuggets of insight around meditation from the mysterious character, nicknamed Socrates. The first:

There are two simultaneous processes: One is insight– the willing of attention, the channeling of awareness to focus precisely on what you want to see. The other process is surrender – letting go of all arising thoughts.

My sense is that lots of people say they have a bad meditation because they are interrupted by so many thoughts; I’d say that’s ok. Yesterday I had lots and lots of thoughts and many of them were anxious. But I found I could release them. It’s not quite the right image, but it was like I was diving and lots and lots of air bubbles were flying up past me; the practice was surrender. The more there were, the easier I found it let them go, and when I could I returned to my focus. The more thoughts there were, the less I sensed they mattered. (Of course, your mileage may vary).

The second thing that stuck in my mind was this:

Consciousness is not in the body; rather the body is in consciousness.

I find it a wonderfully challenging idea. I want to say something about it relating to the practice of allowing ourselves to be held, and to the holding of space in Open Space, but can’t quite put words to it just now.

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