“STOP! Stop thinking!”, I thought to myself. I was trying for a while now to see if what they said about the Buddhist monks was true, that one could have no thoughts. The interruption was fierce, not soft or gentle. I repeated to myself: “Stop, stop, stop, … stop”, now in a more calmer mental voice. I kept repeating, in order to prevent other thoughts from racing into my awareness. Slowly I lowered my mental voice into silence and finally then, I could listen to my breath without being interrupted by my mind. My breath was loud, full and deep. Like the wind racing over the cliffs of a mountain range. Listening to the breath gave rise to the image of leaves being blown around in the autumn storms. I imagined the molecules in the air tumbling and hurdling down my body, flowing over the internal coral reef of my lungs. There they would condense like downfall on the the highest cliffs, eventually turning into the rivers of the world that energise the Life on the land.
STOP! Lost, in thought, again.
Meditation is the inverse of thinking about the game.* You lose the game when you think about the game. But you win in meditation when you listen or feel to your breath, instead of thinking.
Stop. Listen. Listen to the sea. Listen to the surf as it crashes on the beach. Listen to the ocean of air beyond the rushing sound of the beach.
I love this. I love stepping out of my thoughts. It feels like the transition one makes after a fresh swim in the sea. When I am done playing with the water and the waves and when I then swim back to the beach, there is this moment when you are still under the influence of the wave and you’ll be pushed around, forwards, backwards. Then when you reach the beach, you make this triumphant transition by turning your feet down and standing up, out of the water! Standing up within it, feet on the ground, water flowing down your skin, cheering. When you look down, you still see the water rushing around your ankles. It flows around you, and you are out of it.
Thats what stepping out of thought feels like. It’s extraordinary.
* I lost, it’s been a long time since I thought about it!