It never ends.. keep saying that until you get it. It goes on. But what is it? That is the fundamental miss, we think it becomes nothing, we could lose “it”.
Grab hold of the center point from which all creation emanates, the moment before thought takes hold. Then hold on for dear life and let the mud settle, as the spiritual OG Lao Tzu more or less said a couple thousand years ago (theres some patience required in this line of work).
The challenge with this is that while we are allowing the mud to settle, there is still mud floating around. So we assume that we have failed or that meditation is a waste of time.
Not only that, but the settling itself can kick up big piles of dirt we didn’t realize we even had. The whole thing is very counterintuitive, its an up is down sort of practice that requires outright force at times – it is almost diametrically opposite of our habitual behavioral patterns. An unlearning, or undoing in a world hellbent on doing more and more.
You cannot see until the water is clear. But the mental effort to clear the water only makes it muddier. So, what can be done? This analogy works not only as a metaphor, but scientifically. The mud is equivalent to the residual DMN neural activity we have acquired over a lifetime of heavy social and environmental conditioning. The neuroscientific evidence has all been presented in my book so I won’t keep piling that on, but an understanding of the mechanics at work here can be helpful.
Sitting by the edge of the water, just watching the mud drift by. Feeling the (often indomitable) urge to stick your hand in and grab hold of that handful of mud, our sense of self. Just come back to it once more, set your chair down. It could be a while. Let some more mud drift by. Let a little more of “me” float away.
The most stubborn dirt doesn’t come til the end, when the stakes are high and you really mean it. Then the real tests are given. How sincerely do you desire god? The layers closest to your heart are the last to give way. But then.. the kingdom of heaven can be yours. Or, put more accurately, the mental apparatus of “you” will dissolve and stop obscuring the kingdom that is and will always be. With the mud settled, the lotus can bloom naturally.