For many of us, good posture during meditation practice is elusive. We may start our session with the best of intentions but by the end, we can’t wait for the meditation bell to rescue us from back pain. This post is meant to look at and address the samsaric circle of "good posture.”
Traditional meditation texts sometimes describe the unmeditated state as "monkey mind." But for the last week I've been sitting with my new kitten, and I feel like I'm seeing my mind manifested. The kitten is all over the place -- chasing a piece of paper, disappearing under the shrine, jumping sideways, kneading the mat, settling into one posture and resting.
The day after watching my paternal grandmother die, I started cooking. A lot. After losing both of my grandmothers in the span of a few months this summer, it was the only thing I could think to do. It was the only thing that comforted me. Apparently, when I grieve, I cook.
The mind’s natural instinct is to think, weave webs, build edifices, poke and prod and coax and scream. Some of that mental noise is helpful in making sense of the millions of stimuli that bombard you every day. The mind is always planning and plotting and reacting and proacting. It wants to understand all the things that happen to you and happened to you and might happen to you. It wants to fill in the blanks even when all you want is some peace and quiet. So it writes stories.
I had a difficult time making and posting this video because I wasn't happy with myself for the approach I was taking with my son, Oliver. But shooting together provided a safe forum in which we were able to talk gently, for the first time in days, and be open to and at ease with one another. It reminded us (okay, me - he seems not to need a reminder) of why we're here. Thank you, Oliver. I love you.