To be a Taoist means many things to many people. To be a practitioner of Contemporary Taoism simply means to have realised that we are all minute parts of an indescribably large Whole (the Tao), and to choose therefore to 'Flow Like Water' and live in a spontaneous, natural manner. This blog is about: Personal Growth / Spiritual Development as guided by the principles of Eastern Philosophy, particularly modern philosophical Taoism; Developing constructive habits and achieving success with minimal effort; Meditation - Taoist, Zen or otherwise. See 'What In Lao Tzu's Name is a Contemporary Taoist?'

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Sensuality and Meditation

Here is a little taster of the short book I am writing on meditation.

'It suddenly clicked – switching from thinking to sensing is exactly what I do when I meditate or, at any moment in any place throughout my day, when I have a ‘meditative’ moment or a moment of what I like to call ‘hyper-awareness’. Instead of thinking about this and that as I half concentrate on the sandwich I am eating or on the view out of the train window, I come forward into a sublime state of enhanced awareness of the here and now based on simple observation of available sensory data. Suddenly I am struck by the taste of the sandwich and there is no other thought in my mind. My brain slows down and virtually ceases to think about anything else but the sandwich. Thoughts about the next thing I have to do after lunch disappear, memories of what she said to me last summer as walked hand in hand on the beach fade from my awareness.

And in a more formal sense, this is what we do when we meditate by focusing on a chosen subject. We place as much of our awareness on the candle (for example) as we can, and this encourages the mind to (mostly) give up on the myriad of other concerns it was previously entertaining. Although it is unlikely that we can totally stem the flow of thoughts about other (non-focus) subjects – by concentrating on something sensual we make great strides in our ability to rest our awareness on the here and now.'


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