From Meditation to Zen
Or I could have said “From Training to Tao”. While meditation primarily is training, a mean, of cultivating the mind and the brain, Zen and Tao ways of being. During formal meditation I turn back again and again to what’s going on in my brains left hemisphere, with narrow focus and detailed concentration, without any actual aim. But again and again my mind opens up for what’s going on in my brains right hemisphere, the broad and open awareness. Perhaps I am there for minutes, before I gently bring my mind back to my breath.
I do not deliberately seek enlightenment, whatever that may be. If it comes to me, then it comes. The moment I put an aim into my sitting, which I often catch myself doing, I leave the pure experiment of just be silent in the moment, here and now. I experience though, that by focusing, I also open up for the broad alertness which primarily takes place in my brains right hemisphere. And there I get this feeling of an insight which have to be Zen, or in my case what I believe is a touch of what can’t be named, the Tao. A way of being, not a way of doing, a relaxed awareness beyond my rational thoughts.
Zen, Tao, mindfulness, – I do not care about the naming. My point is that when I think that training my mind through the left hemisphere, also make me more responsive in life of what my right hemisphere have to offer, I also find that meditation goes both ways. There is a constandt shift between formal focusing, and unconscious awareness, and both seem to strengthen each other. So while I do formal meditation, I find the informality in Zen, to such extent that Zen (Tao) becomes a meditation in its own right.
I find that the technique to me means less and less, while simply attending the flow means more and more. I experience that my mind is one, not divided into left or right, into narrow or broad. And with that oneness, I find myself connected to everything around me. I know how my brain functions, but living Zen makes my knowledge less important. I know that the Tao is beyond my comprehension, but by letting knowledge and formalities go, I have the feeling of coming closer to whatever the Tao is. And that again, I think, is Zen in its pure form.
And while I write this, I find that what I am saying seems rather confusing. But perhaps that is how Zen is. It can not be expressed through words, but only through personal experience. And perhaps that is why Lao Tzu says:
He who knows, do not speak. He who speaks, do not know.
Perhaps I should not even have tried, but the again: the wordless and the words are both part of the same reality. Nothing can be grasped as wordless unless there also is words. The wordless and the words fulfill each other in the reality of Tao. That is a paradox.