Monday, 25 August 2014

Balance, in meditation, in our bodily systems, in the weather.

More wisdom from my Cropredy friend.

(it's a very nice village, by the way, as well as a festival. Here are the good people of the village hall serving their excellent breakfasts:

which are a very good preparation for:

To the point, Gloria!

I was saying that equanimity seemed to me a goal of meditation - the effort to achieve a balance. We talked of systems out of balance, and I suggested diabetes and tornadoes, when one of a person's bodily systems is out of balance, and when an entire weather system is out of balance. Balance is what meditation aims at.

His response surprised me. It was along the lines of "balance is the last thing we want to achieve, because it's static."

Like this, I guess:

A bit more thought - the kind that hurts and brings you out in spots - made me realise that I didn't mean balance = stasis either. All the good advice I've read on meditation insists that bringing the mind back to the breathing, or whatever the focus in the present might be, is exactly part of the meditation; we shouldn't expect to achieve a perfectly mindful half hour entirely still and present, because we won't, and then we get frustrated and chuck it in. 

The equanimity, the better sense of balance, comes from having meditated, it's not a perfect stasis achieved during meditation. So I said to my friend that I realised I didn't mean a static state, either.

He went on to say that looked at on a larger scale than the tornado itself (admittedly hard to do if it hits you, of course) makes us realise that a tornado is a weather system seeking a better balance. And the body's systems are always and continually moving into and out of all kinds of balance. Diabetics, and to a lesser extent all of us, never have a static state between too much insulin and too much sugar. 

So balance, in the sense I mean in when discussing meditation, is a constantly dynamic state, just as a tightrope artist is making tiny movements (or larger ones) all the time. She is balanced. She is not static.

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