Sunday, May 6, 2012

Undoing the Clinging Habit, One Breath at a Time

Meditating this morning, I sat with the intention of:
Remaining focused on the body in and of itself - ardent, alert, and mindful - putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world.
Remaining focused on the feelings in and of themselves - ardent, alert, and mindful - putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world.
Remaining focused on the mind in and of itself - ardent, alert, and mindful - putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world.
Remaining focused on mental qualities in and of themselves - ardent, alert, and mindful - putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world.
~ from The Four Frames of Reference in The Seven Sets, in A Table of the Wings of Awakenings, in Thanissaro Bhikkhu's The Wings to Awakening ~
and noticed once more, the mind's difficulties in putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world.

Mind kept on disrupting the calm flow of breath with its fabrications. 

First in the craving family: 'I really want to go to Target and check out the new Webster collection.' 'I want to finish up writing the grant.' 'It would be nice to have some cereals right now. Oh! how much I love the taste of dried cherries!' 

Then some random thoughts about people who have done me wrong some while ago. Why think of them now? Go figure . . . The aversion habit needed a fix.

Awareness catching up and noticing the physical and mental stress from such hunger pains, about not wanting the present moment or some representations of the past. Tightness in the stomach and in the jaws, tension in the mind . . . could only be eased a bit. Years of clinging habit could not be undone that quickly. Warm determination was in order, with the going back to the breath, over and over again, each time giving the mind a chance to put aside its usual preoccupations.

And oh! so close, the possibility of freedom, only one breath away. 

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