The Everyday Mindfulness Practice of Direct Experience : zen habits
By Leo Babauta
When I first began training Zen meditation years in the past, I believed it was once to make me extra calm. Then it was once to make me much less reactive. Then to make me much less hooked up to objects.
These issues all occur when you meditate incessantly, as many of you realize. But one of essentially the most useful issues I’ve achieved is to drop the purpose of meditation and mindfulness. And simply be with my enjoy.
I feel of this because the mindfulness observe of direct enjoy, and it’s one thing you’ll do each day, as time and again as you’ll take note. It’s rather strange, and in addition rather a little bit magical.
The observe of meditating at the breath is how this begins, of direction: you stick with the direct enjoy of feeling your breath, out and in, the sensations of respiring your breath. Your thoughts wanders, you understand, you come. If you prefer, you’ll label it “thinking” ahead of you come to the breath. But you stay coming again, although you’re sidetracked for five mins.
That is observe for direct enjoy of the whole lot.
The factor is … our beautiful minds get in the way in which.
The Mind’s Commentary Habit
If direct enjoy is sort of a film that’s enjoying at all times, the thoughts is sort of a one who provides subtitles and observation to the film. Imagine a film with commented textual content continuously plastered in all places the display — in all places, at all times. You’d by no means in reality see the film!
That’s what our minds do. We have this miraculous fact proper in entrance of us, and our minds block all of it out with consistent observation and fantasties.
A couple of of the issues our minds are continuously doing come with:
- Judging whether or not one thing is excellent or dangerous
- Labeling issues — delightful, ugly, unsatisfied, unfair, idiotic
- Judging whether or not we’re excellent or dangerous, whether or not different individuals are excellent or dangerous
- Getting stuck up in a story about one thing that came about previous
- Getting stuck up in fable or concern about what may occur later
- Getting stuck up in a tale about what’s taking place now, why it will have to or shouldn’t occur
These issues additionally get us aggravated, annoyed, indignant, unhappy, frightened, worried. These aren’t horrible issues, however they arrive from those observation habits of the thoughts.
What wouldn’t it be like if we dropped the observation addiction? What if we simply skilled the film with out the entire additional issues overlaid on most sensible?
The Practice of Direct Experience
Here’s the observe of direct enjoy, laid out merely:
- Notice the sensations of this second. It could be sounds. Or gentle. Or sensations on you pores and skin, or on your frame. Just understand no matter you understand.
- Experience those sensations at once, with none ideas, labels, observation, fantasies, narratives, judgments. Just the enjoy.
- If you’re doing any of these items, simply understand, and are available again to the enjoy. Over and over.
- Relax into the enjoy, simply as it’s. It’s no longer excellent or dangerous, it’s simply enjoy. We don’t must do anything else about it. It doesn’t want to be modified. Be enthusiastic about it — what’s it like presently?
You can simply have the direct enjoy of existence as it’s. What a ravishing factor.
What will this tradition get you? Calm, center of attention, peace, happiness? Maybe, more than likely, certain. But the article the observe actually will get you is solely experiencing fact as it’s. It’s superb, complete forestall.