This is something I came across after I really dug into finding my reason to meditate and started meditating with it. Around this time I also started reflecting more on time and what time is. Started dissecting it. The two, The River and time, are somewhat connected, which will make more sense to you in a moment.
The river is really split into two things: perceived and actual. Most people will probably find the first more useful as the second won’t always apply.
After I started meditating for awhile with my “reason” I started having “good” meditations. Notice I put “good” in quotations. I do this because Eric told me once there is no such thing as a bad meditation. Every meditation is perfect. You get from it exactly what the Universe needed you to. I find that’s an important frame of mind that’s too easy to overlook.
I’d had “good” meditations before but because that was my “want”, my goal, I too eagerly ate them up. Excited I jumped at the new discovery I’d gotten from it. Now that I had my reason, I wasn’t really concerned about having good meditations, I was more curious about “why” I had a “good” meditation.
I had enough emotional distance from it that I was able to look at it and reflect in a more unattached way. What I found, or felt is more like it, was a sensation of some kind of slow, deep, inner movement. It was so soft, so subtle, yet definitely present. This feeling was strongest when I had a “good” meditation.
What else was I to do but follow this feeling? So, follow it I did. I watched it for awhile. Watched it when I walked to work. When I walked on the beach. When I ate dinner. I watched it when I took a shower. When I sat down to meditate. When I went to sleep.
This is the simplest way I can describe what I learned from it. Meditation, particularly the Higher Balance meditation, is like a river. When I meditate and I have a “good” meditation, often the result did not come from that moment. Rather it came from the momentum I’d created two weeks before, two months before. It simply took that long to peak and come to the surface. All I looked at was the surface, so I’d always jumped for joy when I had a “good” meditation like, Yay! I did something right.
Underneath the surface you are building this momentum of energy. The more you add to it, the greater this momentum becomes.
Now, to make this more complicated let’s say there are two kinds of rivers. Deep rivers and shallow rivers. Shallow rivers have lot’s of rapids. These rapids splash and crash and have lot’s of white water. They look the most fun and because there’s SO much water splashing all over the place, people often assume they are the more powerful.
Deep rivers look still on the surface except every once in awhile you’ll see a swirling eddie, like a whirlpool.
I grew up around the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. These are deep rivers. Compared to the rivers my family would go canoeing on, I always thought these rivers were little sissies that any kid could swim across. They look so lazy and quiet.
One day someone explained to me that deep rivers have stronger currents. The currents go deep towards the bottom of the river. They could take a swimmer and pull them under. Sometimes the currents rise to the top which forms the eddie.
Most people, when they meditate, are looking to ride the shallow river. They are concerned with what’s splashing around on the surface. They want the waves, they want the ride. This is fine, except when that becomes the way you judge your whole journey.
If you have ever gone river rafting, you’ll know, riding the rapids can be tiring. What’s more, the rapids are always going up and down.
Maybe you haven’t sat for long periods of time and stared at a river. If you haven’t, you should. I’ve sat and watched them both which is why I think I feel this analogy so much. I can sense the currents of the rivers and put that feeling inside of me to form a contrast of the difference.
When I felt this feeling inside of me, and I saw the way time was influencing my meditations, I saw the river clearly. My journey before was ruled in the shallows. I was riding the rapids always watching the up’s and down’s. Now I’d felt depth and my view was changing.
I was no longer meditating for today. I wasn’t even meditating for next week. I began meditating for next month, for 3 months from now, six months from now…. five years from now. My feeling of time and the impact, in terms of depth, my meditations were having on me were expanding outward.
I didn’t want quick shallow rapids. I realized the real change would come from the strong current. The one that would rise from the depths and climb like great wave out of the ocean. To get that, I needed to move into that current. My mind moved further away from the desire for the immediate, “give me the buzz” meditations or experiences. This went perfectly with my “reason”. The Navigator was begging to keep going in that direction.
This is about perception and the effect perception has on your growth. My frame of view grew so that I could see, and appreciate, a bigger picture. Too many people get caught in the rapids. They get fickle and fuss over every little splash or slow time. They don’t reach out and take in the VIEW, the RIVER. It helped my mind quiet so that I could sense, and then ride, another current.
The more I meditated the more I could sense the momentum of this current. Once I started moving with that momentum that was my experience.
When I did have “experiences” I could appreciate them more. Sure they were cool, fantastic really. What meant more was the realizations they gave me and how I could feel their movement within this inner “river”. This inner “river” started to bleed over into my waking life more and more. I could begin to sense it beneath the surface of everything. I became aware of how everything was nothing but a flash, a moment, and yet it was also the overwhelming breath of eternity. Intertwined in an instance.
This encouraged me to view things in greater and greater spans of times. I could feel the undeniable importance and fragility of a single moment and love it all the more in recognition it was nothing in the great ocean of eternity. Meditation was a moment. It was forever.
Fifty years, one day, two hours, the rise and fall of an entire civilization… they were joined in my awareness of time. “The River” ran through it all equally. My meditations would be from that place. They became, as Eric told me, perfect… in that context.
Expectations… what for? I was consistent. My moment had yet to happen, it had already happened. Judgment? For what moment? I was meditating through it all and all strewn together, in one stream, one moment… they were perfect. Do you judge a river for a rock? An ocean for a wave? I stopped thinking it and became it, as close as I could be. Even that I didn’t judge. It would be, when it was time, which already was, it simply hadn’t come to be.
I’m not trying to be cryptic, I’m trying to capture the state of mind. The meaningless frame of “time” that we allow ourselves to be governed by. It is a governor.
That’s the perceptual part of the river. If you just read it and say, “Yeah, that’s lovely”, you missed it. There’s nothing else I can say to help you get it. Either you’re going to take the time to reflect on it and see what I’m saying or you want. I’m not saying it’s the end-all be-all, but I will say there’s something there. Something I don’t see people getting and maybe they can’t get it until they’re in the current but… at least you know.
The second part of the river is actual. Some people call it the pendulum swing. But, another time…