Kill Your Practice

Buddhists call what they do when they sit down to meditate ‘practice’. Of course all words are imperfect when we enter the tricky realm of the non-dual but I really feel this term is misleading if we are wanting to enter the Absolute in our meditation. The idea of meditation being something one practices and gradually becomes good at creates the feeling that in the future, when we are ‘good at meditation’ we will enter the Eternal Present. On reflection, of course this is absurd- the Eternal Present is present in this normal, workaday moment we have here, with me writing these words and you reading them. There is no greater opportunity than this.

The idea of ‘practice’ creates a false self with its own hopes and expectations and all the sense of future which goes with it. Although we may indeed improve in some sense with more time and more practice: stilling the mind, controlling the emotions etc., we are in fact strengthening this false future-dependent self and ultimately getting further and further away from fully experiencing the present moment. Enlightenment or fulfilment remains tantalisingly out of reach.

The solution for me, at any rate, is to forget everything, forget that I know how to meditate, forget any idea of getting better at it, and just totally surrender. By the way, surrender is not something that can be practised!

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