30 Mar
Posted in: Books, Practice
By    Comments Off on Let the Concert Begin

Let the Concert Begin

Today’s post comes from an early book of collected essays (published in 1974) titled: What is Meditation, edited by John White. Of course mediation has been taught for more than 2600 years, so when I say “early,” I mean early for us Westerners.

Here’s a sample from The Art of Meditation, written by one of these “early” practitioners, Alan Watts.

“We are…out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world as it actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions, and ideas. Meditation is therefore the art of suspending verbal and symbolic thinking for a time, somewhat as a courteous audience will stop talking when a concert is about to begin.

“Simply sit down, close your eyes, and listen to all sounds that may be going on–without trying to name or identify them. Listen as you would listen to music. If you find that verbal thinking will not drop away, don’t attempt to stop it by force of willpower. Just keep your tongue relaxed, floating easily in the lower jaw, and listen to your thoughts as if they were birds chattering outside–mere noise in the skull–and they will eventually subside of themselves, as a turbulent and muddy pool will become calm and clear if left alone.”


(Thanks, Thomas, for sharing that gem.)

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