Action – Reaction

Last week in my lessons, I established the theme of “not giving reaction”; not immediately responding to things by reaction.

I read a book called “Quantum and Buddha” recently and it said that if the main focus of attention is on details and continuous adjustments are made when attempting to meditate in a stable sitting position, the sense of wholeness is lost and the body is reduced to parts. Although not a literal interpretation, this was the meaning that inspired me.

If the focus of attention is on parts and continuous adjustments are made, disruption is inevitable. Paying attention to the whole, keeping still and witnessing every feeling within a whole is the opposite situation; in this case, the wholeness prevails. In the whole picture, irritations such as itching, the need to reposition and pain can be felt during the first few minutes. At this point, the most important thing is not to give any reaction to these primary feelings, which means embracing them, not taking any action and keeping stability. When prolongued discomfort or irritation is felt, adjustment may be necessary because the discomfort may be the result of misalignment; instead of reacting, an action with awareness can be taken.

For this reason, before meditating the sitting position should be well adjusted to allow a stable, upright position and a comfortable stillness. Props such as pillows, bolsters or blocks etc. can be used as well. Being as comfortable as possible is of the utmost importance, since the effect of meditation deepens when stillness is maintained.

Reacting immediately and adjusting an uncomfortable position only offers a temporary solution to the feeling of discomfort which in turn results in the necessity of another adjustment. However maintaining stability and becoming a witness rather than a participant begins a spontaneous and natural inner change. The sensations within the body are just like the three phases of water; sometimes they are as solid as ice, sometimes they are as flowing as water, and at some other times they can harbour more volatile feelings like vapour. At this point the most important thing is to watch without interfering as the opportunity to achieve a natural and permanent inner change becomes possible through stability.

There is a lot to learn from the body; it is the ultimate guide. By learning to not react during meditation, we also learn to cope with the situations we experience in life. Our emotions, just like our feelings are continuously changing. Slowing down leads to understanding, and understanding opens a door to compassion. Only in this case does our behavior turn into action that come from our heart instead of reactions motivated by our mind.

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