Day 27: On Walking in this World, and Walking in this Universe

Posted by on Jul 25, 2007 in Meditation | No Comments

I went to bed very early last night, and got up feeling refreshed, about a half-hour later than usual this morning. It’s a shame I didn’t have time to sit down and meditate, as I was feeling very awake and positive, and a sitting meditation would probably have worked quite nicely.

However, I’ll have to try that approach some other morning. What I did instead was to force myself (and did feel difficult) not to put my iPod earbuds in my ears and listen to a podcast on the walk to work, but instead to do a walking meditation for the first fifteen or twenty minutes of the journey.

It worked pretty well. It certainly seemed hardly much more difficult than a seated meditation, in terms of distractions and a wandering mind. I mean, I certainly still succumbed to distraction, but considering I was walking down a busy main road and negotiating crossings and so on, I managed to remain surprisingly focused, drawing the attention back to the breath and to the simple walking motion.

And I seemed to have some kind of insight towards the end of the meditation.

I was just walking, putting one foot in front of the other, concentrating on the walking, rather than the destination, or what I was going to do when I got there, or anything else, in fact.

It occurred to me that there’s a fundamental difference between walking in this world, and walking in this universe, actually getting anywhere on the grand scale of things. It’s hard to describe, but I immediately felt like two people. The first was walking in this world, walking in a roughly straight line from “A” to “B”, a journey which seemed important, and fairly simple.

Then I had an image of my path through the universe, taken from a (necessarily fake and arbitrary) viewpoint outside of all things. I saw that the miniscule path I was describing across the surface of the planet was itself being spun around at the speed of the Earth’s rotation, and also speeding through space along the Earth’s orbital path. My path was insane, anything but straight, yet mathematically perfect.

Then I had a sense of zooming back outwards, all the way to seeing our galaxy stretching itself further and further apart across the expanding sphere that we understand to be the surface of the universe.

And both of these images are true at the same time.

Anyway. I think that having a thought like that, seeing both scales at the same time, seeing the duality of meaning and pointlessness, and possibly even having problems deciding which was which, is a good sign. It seems to me to be the kind of insight that should come to you when you meditate :)

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