As I sit on the porch engaging in a bit of magical thinking listening to the birds. Chirping becomes speaking relatively fluidly. The brain finds patterns where there are none. It imbues sounds with language and significance that isn’t there.
Turning to writing helps me re-center. Helps me to believe what I believe rather than get lead around by… By what? whimsy? random noise? psychosis?
It’s this way in the mind too, chasing around random flutters in consciousness. Just to mean, the random train of thought, the steam of consciousness, can tend to lead me around in the same way that believing the birds are chirping for me does.
Insight meditation helps. Nip a sound in the bud, before it bears meaning by just noting “sound”. Same with noting “thinking”. “Sensation” is an interesting one, easier to just observe. From observing sensation, because it’s so neutral, we can learn to observe things that aren’t, the noting allowing us to detach from them.
It seems like a simple technique, but it’s supported by a consistent going-on-year-long meditation practice. There’s more there than just saying to yourself “sensation” every time the temperature changes!
At this point it seems necessary to reiterate something that Sam Harris said eloquently, that talking about “Buddhist mindfulness” should, and will in the future, seem just about as strange as talking about “Christian physics” – the technique or phenomenon or whatever you want to call it can be totally divorced from it’s religious context.
I am working on a “meditation resources” post that I can pin to this blog, stand by and stay tuned!