Friday, December 11, 2009

A Moment of Being

Sitting in the "Cocktail Lounge" portion of Uris Library yesterday, I chose one of those shallow, odoriferous chairs. I read for a bit, looked out the wide sweeping window at the gray and brown landscape. Then I thought it time to meditate. So I closed my eyes, and with every thought that arose, I pushed it away with a mental broom. Thoughts wander and can be aimless, but with some concentration, it is surprising how easily they give up. The more you push them away, the less pop up.

Then, for moments, brief in duration, there is no thought. Or if there is thought, it is of a non- image, non-conceptual kind. There is just a kind of flow to things; the filter of thought is gone, and suddenly the body, the mind opens up and floats. The mummer of the surrounding students sounds like static. There are gaps and valleys in perception. How long does it last? Precious few moments. There is the feeling that one's whole being has slide delightfully over a cliff, again and again.

Then, when the mind sweeping exercise was over, I began to repeat the phrase Eyn Od Milvado, there is none beside [God]; a Chasidic chant of the pervasiveness of HaShem. This brought a feeling of interpenetration. I felt there was no difference between the thing called me and the person on the other end of the room, murmuring. I felt the continuum of the things we call things; I sensed the speciousness of our sense of separation from them.

Then it was over and I felt as if I was asleep. The world was bright and moving. And I gathered my things and it was over.

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