#139: Spontaneous Remembering

Every morning I sit for twenty to thirty minutes, sometimes with a mug of tea, at the meditation cushion on the floor in my bedroom. The cushion’s a few feet away from the windows, which hang kind of low to the floor, and on days like the ones this week I can feel the cold coming through the glass.

The cushion’s become a place where I come up with ideas. Except it’s the last place I want to be coming up with ideas; part of the practice is to catch myself thinking, and then let go of that thought. At an earlier age I might’ve kept a small notebook by my side to make sure I didn’t lose anything, and then I would proceed to never look at the notebook again. In recent years I’ve come to see that not only will the essential ideas find their way back, it’s how they come back that is the real miracle. The thrill of writing is the thrill of spontaneous remembering.

Of course, knowing this and practicing it are two different things. And it’s easier to let go of an idea on the cushion than it is at my laptop thirty minutes later when that same fear of loss is back, and the ideas I want to come back aren’t coming back. But I’m trying to force things again. I’m not listening. There’s something very elusive, unstable, about openness, and spontaneity. Like an elephant that’s only there if you’re not looking at it.

So what do we do here, friend? Just keep remembering to forget? What do you think?