6 Dec
Posted in: Talks
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What Is Needed Now?


I’ve been listening (again and again) to Ajahn Sucitto’s beautiful meditation instructions (13 minutes), in which he suggests “dropping in the question: What is needed now?” 

This is addressed “to the citta, to the heart, to the sense of presence, to the ‘I’ behind the ‘I am’, to awareness.” Because awareness does not have a specific object (unlike attention), asking the question is almost like dropping a penny down a well. (As in: “Hmmm. Who knows where that’s going to go?”)

The question could be: What’s needed? What’s not needed? What’s helpful? What’s not helpful? What’s beautiful? What would bring in the beautiful?

This goes past the level of thought. Let the penny drop down, beyond the immediate wish to come up with an answer, dropping it into the body.

What do you really, really need? As if this were the last moment of your life. What’s really needed now? Not operating according to scripts. Not for an answer such as “What is needed is more mindfulness, more clarity, more….” No. Not that. Not: “What is needed is for other people to…” No. Not other people. Not: “What is needed is if I were….” No. Not “I.” Beneath that. Behind that. What’s needed right down in your belly? In your heart? In your tissues? That’s the place where you let it drop.

It’s not necessary to have to come up with a verbal response. Maybe just asking the question is all that is needed.

And then to listen.


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