I was hoping to polish off the anti-sage meditation posts with a final post, “OBLITERATION OF THE EGO THROUGH PAIN” but I’m afraid that new insights have revealed to me that I have been framing these apparent “anti-zen” endeavours inaccurately. Thanks to my teacher, I now understand these practices to be complimentary expressions of my meditation practice, expressed in everyday life, rather than compensatory ones. We talk a lot about taking one’s practice “off the mat” in yoga but sometimes it’s not obvious what that might look like; in my case, it was not what I expected and I didn’t recognize it at first. In psychology and cognitive science, they call it flow.

Who were you that I lived with, walked with? The brother, the friend? Strife and love, darkness and light–are they the workings of one mind, features of the same face? Oh my soul. Let me be in you now. Look out through my eyes. Look out at the things you made. All things shining. – Terrence Malick

Looking back on my posts, I think you can see that this collapse of the boundary between my meditation practice in sangha and zen in everyday life has been a long time coming. The growing preoccupation with moral development and the growing concern for modern illnesses and perversions, these were all laying down the necessary groundwork to support flow. Because you can get pretty far in your meditation practice without engaging in developing one’s conscience. You can read stories aplenty of those who have years of advanced meditation experience, kundalini awakening or what have you, who end up abusing the power they’ve gained to manipulate and harm others. Having peak spiritual experiences does not a decent human being make. The only path that makes a decent human being as far as I can see, consists of the daily decisions we choose to take that shape our moral strength.

My dreams have been fairly cryptic, as they have a tendency to be. I asked my teacher, “what is happening to me?” and he replied, “in cognitive science terms, you are undergoing a mind-body reorganization.” With all areas of my life pushing into what Vygotsky would call the zone of proximal development, I realize how much more risk I have taken on. Yet despite this, instead of feeling more anxious, I simply feel vitalized. I find myself in that strange state of feeling like you have your shit together and being confident that you know what’s going down while simultaneously knowing that you don’t truly understand what’s happening, that you are certainly not in control but that your faith is unshakable. No one ever told me life would be such a trip.

If I never meet you in this life, let me feel the lack; a glance from your eyes, and my life will be yours. – Terrence Malick

For the astrologically inclined, TSaturn is conjunct Pluto and TPluto is square Saturn closing in to conjunct my sun. Pmoon has finally left my 12th house.