When we do any one thing, be aware of that one thing, placing your full attention within it. When we do any one thing, we ask why we do it, evaluating in full consciousness our actions and our words.
So then I have to wonder, what is this that we do in meditation?
Can 'sitting,' in a seated meditation, be just that simple? One just sits, breathing and following the breath, totally silent? And that's it? Did the Buddha really reach enlightenment doing something so utterly simple? So simple and yet, why is something so simple also, at times, so hard?
Sometimes I sit and beautiful things unfold in a singular consciousness, a timeless space awash in ephemeral mystery that rises and falls with each breath. Most times I sit and grapple with circular thoughts of past and future -- What did I do the day before last and how would I do it differently, and what do I have to do this afternoon? What did they mean when they said that to me? Or were they intending something else? And then remembering, returning back to my breath, wondering again how this simple practice of 'sitting' could be so difficult?
The mind is a three ring circus event - three shows all at once, with trapeze artists flying high above, and clowns below throwing candy to the crowd.
So there is more to 'sitting' than just simply sitting - this much is obvious. If it were to be called a 'skill,' then it is something that must be practiced and honed over time. This practice continually evolves and changes, as subtle as that would be, for I still just sit! And for this reason I keep returning to the cushion, breathing softly, tethering the attention to the in and out of my breath, the rise and fall of my abdomen....