Friday, January 29, 2010

The Wisdom of Tight Stomach

Reminded by U Pandita in his book, In this Very Life, that meditation is best conducted in a very quiet place, I seized early morning opportunity to sit when the house was empty. All to the joy of meeting self, undisturbed, I settled in usual black chair, making sure body was happy, and closed my eyes. Quick, breath did its job of taking me to place of quiet and contentment, where thoughts, and other surface phenomena couldn't reach. Lingering in blissful state for a while, I started to worry that it might not last. Somebody, something could interrupt . . . A realistic thought laced with not so wise fear, from grasping to what could not be held. Stomach acknowledged with a slight pinch. 

Hard knock on the door, from impatient daughter, needing "to make a copy right now",  jarred me out of meditative state. I retreated into the basement, where I was met by coldness of unheated room. Still perturbed by disruption, and unsure about the appropriateness of my new surroundings, I resumed sitting, nevertheless. And found full blown knot in the stomach. Here we go again, I thought, with all in anger manifesting into stomach. The link was clear, just like yesterday, and the day before. 

Clinging -> Fear, Frustration -> Contracted stomach -> Suffering

And I became incredibly grateful for tight stomach, that let me know whenever I start clinging. A clinging indicator of some sort. 

How things change! I used to dread the unpleasantness of tight stomach. Now I welcome it, as my most trusted friend along the path of liberation. 

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