Alan Watts talks about three views. One view is of the baby, which can’t tell the difference between what is happening and what is happening to it. One is the adult view, which thinks there are certain things that need to be done that they can do, certain things that happen to them and more things that just happen. I like to have a view that can switch between the two. To have a mind that can see the oneness of the situation, but also understands that he can’t touch the moon when he reaches out his arm. I think it’s important to know what we ‘aren’t allowed to touch’, but it’s also important to understand our oneness with everything.
I went to a hot yoga class yesterday and I did Vipassana the whole time. While she went through the yoga poses with the rest of them, I sat still. It’s nice to do Vipassana in a yoga class because often the teacher will have slight reminders of just being aware of your breath or things like that. Other times what they say will be slightly leaned towards controlling your breath by breathing hard out and releasing. The contrast in what they say about controlling it can bring clarity to what I am doing in Vipassana which is a control-less observation. At one point I felt very at one with the words of the yoga instructor, so that I was with them as they were passing, and not apart from them, watching them pass. I was it and it was wonderful.
We might as adults sometimes want this view of oneness to keep us out of our heads. I suppose it’s the type of sensation one might crave. It is a sensation that is arising and passing away.
“Look and listen without naming, and if you are naming, never mind, just listen to that. Now you can’t force anything here. That you can’t willfully stop thinking and stop naming is only telling you that the separate you doesn’t exist. It isn’t a mark of defeat. It isn’t a sign of your lack of practice in meditation. That it runs on all by itself simply means that the individual, separate you is just a figment of your imagination. So you are aware at this point of a happening.”
– Alan Watts
One of the greatest gifts and challenges we have as conscious beings is that we can think about thinking and feel about feeling. When Alan says, “it’s just a figment of your imagination,” you might get to thinking about who the figment was who thought about the figment. If all these objects are passing by our central viewpoint, is the view itself just another object?
Jiddu Krishnamurti says, “Thought creates the inner and the outer. When thought is not, there is neither the inner nor the outer. That is space.”
Thought only creates the outer and the inner when we think about our thoughts. If thought happens as a happening, without our evaluation of it, then we are in the baby view. As soon as we say, “Hey, this is the baby view,” and make that an object of thought, we’ve lost it.
“The experiencing of what is, without interpretation, brings freedom from what is.”
– J. Krishnamurti.
That is meditation and meditation has no motive that we can think of. It isn’t a means to an end. It is the space of unconditional, infinite inquiry. We don’t have the space so that we can come to the conclusion of what it will be like when we pass by the our thoughts. The passing by them is naturally accompanying this space. I’ve felt this during my hour sits. In fact, as Goenka says, “The few moments where you are with breath, as it is, those are good moments.” (Or something close to that.) Those are the moments when you are actually meditating. The rest of the time you are trying to meditate. You are evaluating the experience and not directly experiencing it.
When a baby reaches out to touch the moon, he doesn’t know that he can’t. He doesn’t have the distance in mind. He may have the thought of distance, but as long as he doesn’t hold on to it, it doesn’t become a thing to hold on to. How far or near is it? It’s just a happening and it’s happening in all places at once.
When I was just with the words of the yoga instructor, I was meditating. Sound as sound alone and understanding, being with it, as if she was taking me into silence, though I was already there. A silence abiding within more silence. I’ve had this in the past when my friend and I were high and I was writing something down.
He said to me, “You’re going to write the word what.”
I laughed, “No, I’m not!”
“Yes you are,” he went on, “in ten seconds.”
As he counted down, I continued to write what I was naturally writing before he told me I’d write the word what, just laughing along with his attempt to hypnotize me. The sentence just happened as it would have, but when he reached the last number, it just so happened that I wrote the word “what” in that very moment. I was astonished. I couldn’t believe that I actually wrote the word ‘what’ right when he said I would. This very same thing happened in that yoga class, where I could feel myself going right along with what the teacher was saying. “Relax. Let go.” While writing high, I felt I was in the moment with what my friend was saying. His words guided me to do so. This time, sober, I felt that I could go with the yoga instructor’s words or not fall into it. I had control over how much control I had, but when I was high I didn’t. I could go along with it, or come back to another view. The baby’s view or the adult view.
That night after yoga, I listened to Alan Watts talk about what happens when you are silent for a month. He says that you stop thinking in words and you start to think in images. I haven’t yet done a twenty day or sixty day course, so I didn’t know what he meant, but I resonated with what he continued to say. He said that in this state, you can find yourself going along with everything, because that’s just what’s happening. If there’s a riot going on, you have to be careful, because you can naturally get caught up in the riot, because that’s the swing of things.
I thought this was very interesting, because this is exactly what happened in the yoga class and also while I was writing with my friend on cannabis. In yoga class, while meditating, I was aware and conscious of this going with the flow. In the latter, I didn’t know about it until I did it. It seems that the last thing we do have control over is how much control we have. The more aware we are, the more we are in the space where thoughts aren’t thoughts as things, but mere phenomenon. Life becomes limitless, because we’re not accounting for our limits, which could be just how babies see.