Thursday, January 10, 2008

Absolute Readiness

In terms of the meditation path I am still a beginner. I've been meditating on a daily basis for approx 2 years now. Some people do it for 50 years.

So I got to wondering what meditation must feel like for a Grand Master. I am speculating here but I think one of the hallmarks of the advanced meditation state would be READINESS. Total and utter readiness - for anything.

It is oft assumed that advanced meditators enter a state of supreme bliss. Maybe... But I don't think it's the kind of supreme bliss that is totally detached from the world, like an impenetrable cocoon that cannot be pierced.

Maybe I can try elucidate what I'm trying to say by way of an example. Picture a Grand Master meditator deep in the midst of a meditation session, and a bomb goes off next door. What would his/her reaction be?

In the picture in my mind the Master would open his eyes wide, say aloud "Oh, an explosion", and slowly & calmly rise and evacuate the area, helping all others en route. But here's the pivot: He wouldn't do this because in his meditation he was securely walled-off in this state of impenetrable calm. No, he would be able to do this because he was 100% alert and 100% ready for ANYTHING that the universe threw at him/her. He would be ready for this for every second (milli-second) of the meditation session.

OK, so this is a pretty idealistic picture. But what I'm trying to say is that ultimate meditation is not a CLOSED affair. On the contrary, it is 100% OPEN and integrated with the world. Not many people ever acheive this. It requires a supreme amount of confidence. To be fully prepared for ANY eventuality, at ANY time, on a second-to-second basis is the most powerful kind of confidence that there is.

It's certainly not something I am anywhere near acheiving. But sometimes, in my meditation sessions I try and focus on this readiness. And the few times I've glimpsed its workings it is supremely liberating. For when you are in this state - what is there to fear?

...not even death.

(like I said this is all pure speculation on my part so if any advanced meditators out there care to differ, I'd love to hear from you)


  1. i'll be 1 year at it in march, howevah i am doing it hardcore, for the 1st 4 months (and 2 osesshins - short 50 hours weekend retreats) i did 4 hours a day, then i cut back to 1 hour a day while doing 2 more osesshins. next week i'm doing a 4 days sesshin. if i survive that, i'll start the regular, 7 days sesshins.

    spot on about master evacuating zendo, if there are others there, if there are not, he would finish whatever meditation session he was doing, ring the bell, hit the clappers, then go check out the bomb situation.

    but yeah, 100% readiness for anything which means 100% presence in the moment.

    now the moment includes the body, but it is not the body, thus you can drop body AND mind and go elsewhere.

    that doesn't mean you aren't in body anymore, it also doesn't mean your rational mind is not there anymore.

    think of it as multitasking.

    in other words, an expanded state of consciousness does not include the inability to operate a motor vehicle - which is what you get if you blow your ego away on a level 5 magick mushrooms experience, let's say.

    keep the non-linearity of the mind alive.

    if you simply drop the body, then you can do the astral shit, which overall is really low level, but can be interesting nevertheless.

    there is no low or high level, just awareness of various levels, but if i am aware of more levels than you are, then i can call the level you're on lower.

    now the fears you go through, fear of death - your ego thinking is the highest - first off, there are worse fates than death, everyone knows that, including your ego, but there is the fear of your body dying, that's relatively minor, then there's the ego's fear of dying and that is mortally more fearsome than the ability to keep it cool if someone's pointing a gun to your head or cancer is gnawing at your innards.

    see you can keep your beliefs (in an afterlife, in whatever) and get relatively easily over the fear of dying, but when you get close to experiencing ego death, now that my friend is a fear that's so beyond what your rational mind can handle that it changes the equation completely.

    enough rambleusious delusions of meditation grandeur.

  2. now make sure your method is not pseudomeditation.

    here's a good youtube describing what is and what isn't:

  3. & a blog you may find interesting:

    my teacher tho, when i pointed out that brad is a qool cat, said that her impression is that both he and his gudo teacher operate at a very low level.

    mw@h, i say, i still like the guy, even tho he's soto and i practice rinzai.

    that is because i am nothing & i'm open to practicing all.

    i'm not trying to tell you what method you need to pick, but if you've been at it forever and you're where you're at, you need ANOTHER ONE.

    your case is you've been at it not very seriously and rigurously, so again don't take this like i'm discounting your method.

    i am also not pushing the method i practice (some kind of zazen, susokkan, not shikantaza) on you.

    plus i'm looking really closely these days at sfjane's taoist water method of inner-dissolving.

    after i meet her, i'll see what's next.

  4. ego? is that not some kind of internet based Japanese board game?


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