I woke up in a strange mood today. Like a dark cloud over the top of my head raining down negative thoughts. There was agitation too, like a knotted twisty wind within.
My automatic reaction was to judge the mind for generating this. I wanted to push it away, make it otherwise. But then remembered that judging and fighting it just reinforces the negative tendency. This is how karma works, each time we grasp a tendency of the mind, it adds more to it and it grows stronger.
I did a bit of thought replacing, knocking the negative ones out like a hammer knocking out a peg, and replacing them with something wholesome. Of course not long after, the new peg gets knocked out, and the negative thought comes back again. Strange how the mind works against itself. Still it is a useful exercise, I make a game out of it. I practise getting quicker at noticing when the new peg has been knocked out and immediately replace it again without entering into any dialogue with the negativity, without seeing it as me, mine, or self. Just an impersonal process that I can change to something more beneficial for myself and others.
When this practise became too tiring, I stopped and practised anchoring the mind on a meditation object instead, being centred with the feeling of the body.
I become aware of the unpleasant feelings and the aversion inside, churning away like a vat of discontent. I experience them fully, remind myself this is suffering, suffering feels like this. This is the first noble truth. Knowledge of suffering.
Why is there suffering?
Because of the second noble truth.
Craving in its three aspects.
I notice the longing, aversion, and selfishness. Notice how unpleasant this feels, this is suffering. It is unpleasant, it is an affliction, it is like a sickness. I feel dispassion towards the craving. Which helps me detach from it.
I open up my awareness and create a feeling of spaciousness within. I let the resentment, longing, and selfishness be there, but choose not to judge, follow it, or identify with it, Just let it be. Give it the space to arise and cease without getting involved with it, without adding anything more to it. Don't shoot the second arrow.
I turn my eye towards the deathless, towards nibanna. The third noble truth. And I remind myself of nirodha, cessation, non-attachment. I become aware of the mind when longing, aversion, and selfishness is no longer present, feel the relief when the mind stops harrassing itself. How much more peaceful, clearer and happier the mind feels when it isn't feeling resentment, isn't clinging to something, isn't identifying with it, taking it personally. Isn't longing for anything, isn't trying to change anything, At peace and content, not wanting to be any place else. 'Nibanna is right here Richie' I remember a wise teacher telling me.
I notice the sound of the seagulls outside the open window, feel a breeze and reconnect with the air element, feel the cool air all around me and within me, it feels invigorating. My attention becomes centred with the air element.
The thoughts continue in the background like white noise, and I notice how similar they are to ringing in the ears, they constantly change. And I feel grateful for the freedom to be able to disengage from them, to stop identifying with them, to stop seeing them as self and be able to absorb my attention into something else instead, something more tranquil.
I keep the body still and upright, enjoying the solidity, the weight, the feeling of the Earth element grounding me, helping to steady the mind and bring some composure.
Mind follows body, and body follows mind. When the body is still with awareness anchored there. The senses start to settle down, the mind grows quiet, more collected, more centred, and the stillness grows deeper, and it feels exquisite just to rest there in that feeling of stillness.