I have not written in several days now. No inspiration during meditation, or epiphanies that have occurred lately. Meditation every day has been quite average and uneventful. I am not finding myself exceptionally peaceful, nor am I agitated or upset. All in all, pretty boring actually.
So I find myself asking the question “what now?”.
Perhaps I have managed to accumulate desires and expectations in my practice. And we all know that’s not good. The whole idea of this practice is to let go of expectations and desires.
But I do feel as though I have hit some sort of road block at the moment. And I think I need to observe and accept this as exactly the way it should be right now. And I see that my mind can easily create disturbing thoughts and emotions out of thin air if I am not mindful. By just asking the question “what now?”, the mind begins to search for reasons or problems. And isn’t this how most of our suffering and dissatisfaction in our life gains footing?
Too much time on our hands without focusing our attention on loving kindness and compassion, leaves us with an emptiness that easily gets filled with imagined problems and potential difficulties.
So what if instead, upon seeing this emptiness arise, we focus our attention on cultivation? Thinking, what can I do to benefit the self and others. Can I exercise right now, can I help someone in need, can I do some work that I have been putting off?
I see that all of these empty spaces, this nothingness, can not only be accepted and enjoyed but also be a wonderful opportunity.
We have a choice every day to either cultivate positive or negative kamma. It is in our own thoughts that we choose to develop positive qualities and increase our mindfulness or allow rampant delusions to create disturbing emotions and sadness. Putting out the fires in our mind is done by gentle awareness each moment that a thought arises which is not beneficial. We then choose our path.
If “what now” is the question, then the answer may lie in how we may show loving kindness and compassion to ourself and others. This is something which is always available to us, at anytime.
Perhaps next time you feel your mind wandering with thoughts of the future and all the “what ifs”, you can bring yourself back to the moment and this breath. Then ask yourself, how may I be of benefit.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.