I’m not a meditator, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit. Or, am I?
The ancient sage Patanjali – a pivotal proponent of the art of meditation – collected all sorts of wisdom of the times, compressed it into 196 pithy sayings, and gave them to us as a system of meditation.
I’ve read Patanjali’s Sutra from cover to cover, in the 7 or 8 books of interpretations I own. This is nothing against those many dedicated yogis who have learned Sanskrit to commit to memory and be able to chant all 196 Sutra. I even know a yoga colleague who studied The Sutra for five years in a cloistered situation.
A compatriot, the venerable Vin Bailey, who was a Catholic priest, wrote a beautiful interpretation of The Sutra. He also ran meditation retreats south of Sydney in the bush, until he passed away a few years ago. But I missed out.
Jiddu Krishnamurti’s version of meditation, as nearly as I can understand it, was to give complete attention to something without putting labels, evaluations or judgments on it.
We all know how hard that is to do. Just catching yourself in the act, kind of red- thoughted. Then changing gears from the Doer to the Watcher.
I have a device which helps me: I think of interrupting the thoughts my mind is manufacturing (“yamma-yamma”) by inserting a kind of a wedge so The Watcher can have a detached look all around.
I’m usually surprised by the illogic of my thoughts, and sometimes amused or even embarrassed.
The Watcher is always there to connect with, one step back, benign and benevolent. And not even waiting for an enlightened meditator to show up.