Truth is beauty, and beauty truth. I have forever gazed upon beauty and am thus moved to engage its dark shadow.
Centering is one of those practices that’s so simple it’s complicated. Even when we are physically relaxed we are often not at all centered. If we’re relaxing watching TV say, it’s so kinetic that we just stay off center. We get conditioned to just ignore center and are often even afraid of it. We don’t recognize it as a part of our sense of self. We are generally conditioned to see that “I am what I do”. This is actually a pretty viral belief and it creates a lot of disharmony, not just in domestic life but in business and social life as well.
Consider walking. When walking we are consistently off our center of balance. It’s the only way we can actually walk. But eventually we have to rest, and when we rest as fully as we know how, we mostly rest directly on our center of balance which is roughly at the center of our lower back. Which would mean we lay down right? But we don’t lay our minds down. Much of what sleep deprivation studies center on is exactly that, and actually physical disorders are tertiary to the issue. From studies of our sleep rhythms, our rest cycle is more like a cat than a hibernating bear. In and out of the deep sleep cycle, but we are told we aren’t doing anything important when we are sleeping or day dreaming.
Which rhythm is most natural for us? Well, Edison had a reputation for short naps but otherwise seeming sleepless. He just didn’t care about the normative beliefs. And Napoleon (in fact many of the great thinkers moral or not) listened to their natural rhythms more than any conditioned beliefs. They pursued their passions, even world conquest, despite what they were conditioned to believe was appropriate activity. In Taoism they speak of a concept, wu-wei, non doing. It‘s a doing that arises from being, not from pursuit, not from agendas, but from a deep seated spirit. We tend to get so caught up in our circuits of behaviour that we ignore the kinetic “speed blindness” that arises from our conditioning. Ever really try to look out the side of a rapidly moving car? Vertigo. It dulls the senses, and nothing can be seen clearly or in detail. Yet when we crash in our personal lives people act surprised.
I have also heard that about TV, what the rate of the changing images is doing to us and it synchs the body to that speed? Yes. There is plenty of reason to believe it’s linked to ADHD, or at least agitating it. A friend of mine with that diagnosis finds he can actually meditate. He has developed almost an addiction to meditation because it’s such a contrast to the mind state he’s accustomed to.
The centered state isn’t empty. A lot of mystical teaching and meditative schools sort of confuse people in striving for an ideal, but in fact we all knew center. Children tend to be centered until they are forced into a permanently defensive stance. The infant is quite centered even when they are disturbed by a soiled diaper, or hunger, or desire for contact. Their actions and reactions stem from center, coming from our natural core awareness which can’t actually be compromised.
I don’t recall exactly who said it, but as an answer to “Who am I?” they said the answer is only really seen when you are in a quiet space and at rest. Like when you are resting in your bedroom with the lights off and not thinking about what to do or how people are going to react. Sleep is a very centered state, that sense of peace, that sense of I’m just here, that is center. A sense or focus of being rather then thought, is center. Thought is like your sense of hearing. It’s valid, but also inherently limited. If you put thought before every other way of being, then it is like trying to recite spiritual poetry in a white noise cell.
Are we always ‘peaceful’ in center? Yes, peace defines center. There is no deliberation or action. There is the flow of being so there is a whole world to observe.
You can still be sad though, even in the peace? Ah, yes. When in center you can indeed still have a feeling of sadness, but the strange thing is the sadness won’t disturb. You can just be allowed to be, and it will dissipate because it arose from something external from us. The centered awareness itself doesn’t change like that.
I recently read an excellent meaning for ego; e.g.o. = everything good is outside. It’s that idea that puts us off center. Even the things we don’t see as good in a reflexive way we do, because any trouble we really believe in is seen to have power.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.