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My Meditative Moments

Practice- An Exercise in Reflection

by meditative - February 2nd, 2011.
Filed under: Insight Meditation Exercises.

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Most of our waking moments are spent thinking in a rational manner… we use reason to come to know. Taking “pause” to practice reflection helps us to access our intuitive or non-rational means of knowing- and to balance the rational ways of trying to solve our problems.

Let us come into our quiet space. Sit comfortably just breathing… connecting your mind and body… and allowing a couple of minutes for your breath to settle your mind and body naturally, with some sense of calm and ease- as best you can. Allow your breath to anchor your presence- and for your mind to become more concentrated- yet open to receive whatever may arise… breathing into the moment and into your awareness- of mind and of body.

When you are ready, and you feel a sense of calm and stability in your presence- let’s bring the attention to some question or issue you are currently struggling with. Let’s drop this concern into our stillness in the same way that we would drop a pebble into a water well… in this case, our well of knowing. Initially, our tendency might be to think and ruminate over the issue, but try not to let that happen. Stay with not knowing for the moment- and allowing yourself just to be with this not knowing.

Instead, see what kind of response surfaces spontaneously on its own. Be patient with this process, and allow your breath to anchor your mindsight with the “pebble” having dropped into the well’s water. What kind of ripples or sounds does the pebble make in this well’s water?

Here and now, just listen rather than trying to reason or figure out your concern. Allow the answer to arise from a place deep inside. If you find yourself getting lost in your thoughts about this issue, then allow yourself to keep coming back to your breath- gently anchoring and re-focusing your mindsight. Once you retain a sense of calm and stability… then ask the question again. As best you can… continuing to bathe your free attention with curious reflection for as long as you can sustain this open and receptive focus in awareness.

When ready, slowly and gently returning to your breath- and simply breathing as you let go of this reflection exercise- bringing yourself back to your normal activities.

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