Have you ever had the experience that you’ve been experiencing distractedness in meditation, and you return from a distraction only to find that — in your absence — a state of joy and calmness has been created for you? That was my experience tonight. A state of joy and calm had been created without my doing anything consciously to bring it about.
At the same time I noticed this I found that, as has been happening a lot lately, an urge appeared to “just rest.” I needed to get out of the way, stop trying to do anything, and allow the meditation to happen.
I see this as a teaching on anatta (not-self). It’s interesting so see “not-me” being so much better at meditation than “I” am. There are parts of my mind that have internalized the skills of meditation, and those parts function better the less they are “owned” by the part of me that thinks it is “Me” (very much with a capital M).
It’s not as mysterious as it sounds. Think about walking. Or don’t. When you’re walking you’re best not to think about exactly how to move all the individual muscles in your legs. If you did, walking would be a lot of effort, and not very effective. The whole thing would be painful and exhausting. But that’s not what you do. Instead you just let “not-you” do the walking (which it does very well, on the whole) while “You” — or the alleged You — get on with something else. It’s exactly the same in meditation, although it seems to be easier to learn to trust “not-you” to walk than it is to trust “not-you” to meditate. I wonder why that is? Is it because we learn to walk so young?