Sangha Member Post:
Being present has seen many stages in my practice. There was the early awareness stage when I first became aware of all the mental noise. It was quite shocking.
The next stage was dominated by a sense of being trapped in a thick layer of cotton. I had memories of being present as a child but I struggled to reconnect through all the protective filters I have accumulated through my life. I’m working on this and seem to be making progress.
This week I had a new ah ha. Part of the dullness was chemically derived from the allergy medicine I’ve taken for years.
In sesshin a few weeks ago, I got a new appreciation for the difference between open awareness and focused concentration. I also overcame extreme back pain during zazen by making the linkage to previous injuries and adapting my posture until I figured out how to compensate for my body’s asymmetry. Previously, being present meant spending a lot of time with the physical pain.
I’m not sure what’s next. It’s a fun, curious journey. I hope to see you on the path.