I read a quote by a Hua Hu Ching (from the teachings of Lao Tzu) that concluded “therefore, agitated effort is not necessary.” It brought to mind the dance between self-effort, striving, our Western venerated industriousness, and graceful allowing, that “spiritual state” that many of us find a challenge to sustain. When do you sit back and entrust yourself to God or the Flow or however you name a Higher, Divine Power, and when do you get off your butt and “network,” “query,” or rev up your social media contacts? There must be a balance, however elusive and changing; tending to it seems the wise choice. My experience is that when I meditate “on” something, even something noble, like balance or equanimity, I don’t notice any specific attainment of it right away.
What I do find, is that when I finally “let go” or stop efforting to “get it,” something peaceful comes in; it can be a graceful, floating feeling. The agenda and effort disappears and I am experiencing “Is-ness,” just being with the true object of meditation, the Self or God. As a wise Israeli rabbi said (loosely transcribed), “You pray to pray. It’s not about getting something. It’s about talking to God.” You meditate to meditate. You talk to your Self. Is-ness is a goal of meditation. Come to it your own way. Here’s one way to jump start your own process:
Meditating on No-thing-ness, or Is-ness: Relax your body in a comfortable posture. Close your eyes. Enter meditation as you usually do, through the breath, a mantra, or some other simple technique. Observe the agendas of the mind and its spiraling thoughts. Gently allow them to come and go. If need be, find the positive kernel or flip side of negative thoughts. Bring your awareness deeper, focusing beyond thoughts to the heart or even the feet. You can do this through the breath or an awareness of sensation, such as feeling the purr of your heartbeat, or the solidity of your feet. Sit until a feeling of “is-ness,” just being without “business” prevails.
Rest assured that something good will come from your moments of idle “is-ness.”