Direct Experiential Training

by meditative - March 19th, 2015

‘Awakened wisdom’ is this clear sanity to see, feel, and know directly what is of mind.

As we have previously discussed, the practice of meditation is not an intellectual pursuit or activity. It is experiential training to work directly with the mind- observation of the mind- examination of the mind- and clarification of the actual nature of the mind and its relationship to our experience both internally and externally.  Through insight and instruction, we are invited to direct our attention and open our awareness to see how the mind actually functions- its mechanics & reflexes, its impulses & patterns… moment to moment.

In this practice, we may aspire to cultivate a discriminating or discerning awareness to help sort out our confusion and neurosis associated with strong and fixated habitual tendencies and patterns. Our unbiased, nonjudgmental invitation to work with whatever unfolds in our experience creates a spacious quality of “emptiness” allowing us to relate more closely- more directly- and more genuinely to our own experience, its freshness, fullness, and its immediacy.

The concepts we cradle in understanding our experience are mere tools or guides to what is really happening within or outside of ourselves. It is our experiential training or practice that actualizes the nature of what our experience really holds. Our training works to balance theory, insight, and instruction with the direct experience of our meditation practice.

By maintaining a sense of wakefulness in our practice, we can attend to the direct challenges of the mind- our memories of the past- our dreams of the future- and our fickleness of the present moment. By taking direct responsibility for the fitness and sanity of one’s own mind, we can begin to uncover our natural clarity, warmth, and compassion- first, within oneself, and then extending to others. With sincere devotion to our practice, we can penetrate the confusion and chaos that often envelopes our routinely mindless states of doing.

By cultivating an orientation of non-aggression- do no harm to ourselves or to others- we solemnly vow in our training to relax to ourselves with warmth, tenderness, curiosity, and openness- allowing ourselves to see both our problems and our potential genuinely. This is the “ground” of our training and our practice.

The skillful means to discern what is truly appropriate for a given situation requires a considerable degree of discipline and practice… freely attending both the form and the emptiness of one’s experience, moment to moment. Clear sanity and discerning awareness can only be actualized through a direct experience to what is really happening. In the absence of this direct experience, we are left with merely our conception of both “self” and “reality”- a habitually conditioned narrative of one storyline after another.