Friday, October 21, 2011

Seeing the Light

I made pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins this morning.

I loved how the light was hitting them through the kitchen window... they look like holy golden muffins. I wouldn't say they tasted quite as heavenly as I would've liked. I balked at the recipe calling for 2.5 cups of sugar when I was only using 3.5 cups of flour, so I took out half a cup... much to the disappointment of the muffins. They also lacked the moisture I would have preferred. Note to self and others: don't apt for the shortcut of canned pumpkin, just go for the real thing.

I attempted to save them by making a cinnamon and suger glaze with butter and cream. All in all? They were, just, okay. I brought them down to Carollton and shared them with the hospice patients and hospice staff.

I was finally able to get a nice, long, 45 minute meditation sit in last night. I'm looking forward to a longer one this evening. I'm still trying to ferret out what makes for the really awesome sit and what stifles or obscures a sit. Last night I found concentration to come quite naturally and easily. As I entered deeper and deeper into the breath I began to notice something peculiar taking shape. Whether it's an act of my imagination, or the "sign" Bhante G talks about in his book, I'm still not sure. It was incredibly encouraging, though! I began to sense being at a doorway. It had real shape to it, and sort of pointed up at the top. I felt the doorway surrounding me a little, like a bubble. I sat in this doorway for a few minutes, minutes which I knew wouldn't last because I had already begun to ponder the experience and think about it, rather than be in it. That's a tricky balance to manage...

I remember when I had my very first meditative absorption. It was back in Iowa on my 21st birthday in a zen monastery. When I entered absorption there was a distinct "popping" sensation, like bursting through or popping your finger through plastic. There was a domed light surrounding me and the color of dark army green. I have no idea what these things mean, but they were present and experienced on some level that was neither just in my mind nor outside of it.

The recent dhamma talk posted yesterday was also encouraging. I was reminded that, though we accumulate bad kamma through our actions, we also create good kamma too. And this good kamma builds and builds. When we sit for meditation, each time we do, it's building good kamma. Eventually, we must enter the jhanas. It's simply bound to happen, like filling a pitcher of water. Eventually, the water will spill over. I'm hoping that the doorway is a sign, a symbol, that I'm building that kamma and coming closer to the first real step inward.

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