(The background to this report – which I fear is too long – is that I have a chronic illness, and my body is almost always in pain. Only in some meditative states do I get relief from the pain. I’ve had this for more than a decade, so it’s no big deal. But, here it has woken me, sometime after midnight, and so I am listening to the Class 1 mp3, again.)
Taking up the suggestion of expanding ‘experiencing’ in some way, I lay there in the night and I wondered: “What might I expand that I don’t usually practice expanding?” Certainly, I could have expanded the senses, but I usually do that. At first I couldn’t think of anything new, something not normally offered up for expansion, and then I realized that this question itself had opened up ‘experiencing.’ The curiosity about what to expand, a kind of silent questing for a something, was itself an expansion. How lovely!
After a while, it came to me: “I can expand the sense itself of being an experiencer.” So, for a while I did that – I actively included the ‘experiencer’ of whatever was presenting. This had a marked effect, and for a while I didn’t have any words for the change. So, I just did it anyway, every-so-often noticing the new quality. Then, the phrase ‘a stopping‘ popped into awareness. Not a ‘stoppage,’ which would (for me, in this moment) be a deadening. This ‘stopping’ was a freeing up.
Let me invite that again, as I write to you… (I have been remembering to include the experiencer, as I write… which makes a difference to the process of writing…. )
I’m checking the body’s experience of this ‘stopping.’ It’s, at the same time, an inclusion….
Is it an inclusion of being the experiencer of it all? No, that’s not it. (I know because my body remains unmoved.) It’s more like… it’s an inclusion of… the ‘more-than-known.’ Let me check that. There’s a stopping, right? My body agrees. And, that’s an availability to the ‘more’? Yes. Where leaving out is inclusion.
An exercise I used to do regularly, comes to mind (from Paul Reps little ‘Zen Bones’ book), which is something like… “Wherever attention alights, there…” This ‘space’ that comes from the inclusion of the experiencer has the quality of that ‘there.’ No longer putting the experiencer on the outside, there’s that (….), which includes availability for the ‘more than known.’
Amazement. Exactly this stopping reveals a spaciousness that is naturally an opening of a different kind of knowing, and, despite its silence, it’s definitely is not static. Its aliveness might be said to be a species of ‘inquiry.’ I also notice that it has a quality that is unique, precisely related to the entry question. Oh, how sweet is that!
In the writing, new things are coming about it. But, at the time, I enjoyed lying there appreciating the ‘stopping,’ way beyond the end of the class1 mp3, in the expanded silence and intimacy of bedclothes and breathing.
After a while, I began to refine the inclusion of the experiencer. I narrowed down to being an experiencer of bodily pain. With that, the relief that arose showed something more about the ‘stopping.’ The relief from resisting the pain (which I had been doing unaware) was an instance of that ‘stopping’ thing. So, it was clear that it was (and is) the stopping of taking a “position” about experiencing. (In this case, the position was: “I don’t want this.”)
I thought I better write this down. And now, back to… sleep, perchance to not dream, but, to quest silently.