What is the nature of zen meditation? Not filling the present moment with thought.
How many times have we been told, or heard "Think outside the box?" In "The Presence Process," the author Michael Brown makes a very interesting point. "We can’t think outside the box when thinking is the box!" But we can notice It.
In my experience thought... thinking, especially when spun up by fixation of worry, anxiety, depression, anger, or fear..., better known as obsessing, is like being caught in a kind of box... trap... a sort of daydreaming. The result is being influenced to lose conscious contact with the present moment. How many times have we come to attention, noticing that we were lost in thought, riding with stories of the mind, engulfed in its dialog? If we pause long enough, we can notice that thought played on the mirror and screen of awareness creates a kind of virtual world, moving as we move, overlaying actual "Reality." Seeing and noticing Reality before thought has the opportunity to grab, copy it, reconfigure it, and hand it back to us as virtual reality is known in Japanese as "Sonomama," (そのまま). This principle is extremely important to understand in practice of Zen. It's another way of understating the present moment, as the "Pre-Sent moment." Zazen... stillness that's harmonized... unified... physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually is deeply essential.
As a 3, 5, 10, 20, 50 minute practice... We could consciously and intentionally empty the moment of the stories in our head about our so-called past; that we pull around with us like luggage moving through an airport, trying to stuff in the overhead bins of now. We could empty the moment of all the future-tripping; projecting the "i's" hopes and/or its fears that we're driving ourselves towards or away from. We could empty This moment of our movement and BE still. We could notice the moment As Is, before the ghost in the machine of our body uses the movie camera of thinking and thought to capture... define... generate storylines, tagging every thing and every one; spray painting over Reality, like a dog peeing all over the place to mark its territory to arbitrarily claim it, surreptitiously vandalizing our perception and ability to perceive what's actually happening.
It's then that we might notice that emptiness isn't void, a lack, nothing, or no-thing... that emptiness is being with things as they are, before thinking and thought told everything what It is. And then we're experiencing reality as Reality... instead of almost-like Reality. In This Way, we could be happier in our head and heart. By changing the relationship between the mind, we change how we relate to Reality. That offers a whole different set of choices in how we could navigate this one continuous Now. Please confirm with your eternal, authentic, clear and transparent Universal Identity of Loving Presence.
一Dignity and Grace