My meditation lately has been a bit stale. I’ve found that as my emotional reserves have gotten lower and my need for a way to bring myself back into balance has been greatest, well, there I am, unable to focus and stuck with a mind that is all over the map, indeed, off the map half the time.
So my sits have been all form and very little substance. Ah, this happens to me from time to time. It usually means that I need to have patience, usually in short supply, and give myself the room to love whatever form my practice happens to take. Been doing that. I know the drill.
This time was a bit different, though.
It hit me that perhaps I’m looking at practice the wrong way or at least in a limited way. Sure I can sit morning and night and that’s generally a good thing. I need to be open to my experience, though. And when the sitting becomes formulaic, I need to get beyond that, let go of the form and bring myself into the presence of the sacred reason for this exercise.
So what I got was that my art, so central to my life, is part of my practice. I don’t mean as metaphor, I mean REALLY part, as in: do it, meditate on my images as I manipulate them in the camera or in the computer. Now that got my attention!
What I’ve come to – and heaven knows getting the intellectual hit is just step #1 – is that I must be as focused and mindful in working on my image-making as I work to be in my sits. This is seriously “meditation off the mat.” It means letting go, in a way, of my ego’s version of the image and seeing what is there, what the universe put there.
That makes the image taking and the image making a sacred act and that makes sense. It also adds another dimension to my recent musings about truth. It takes it out of the mind and into…well, some other place that I don’t pretend to recognize much less understand. So I’ll work with this, see where it leads. Maybe nowhere. The bottom line is still the same for me: images I love. So let’s see what happens.