Embracing Stillness: The Art of Wall Gazing

Embracing Stillness: The Art of Wall Gazing

In the realm of meditation, there are times when restlessness creeps in, resembling the impatience of a poet checking pages mid-reading. It's essential not to turn meditation into a rigid ritual, shackled by the obligation to practice daily. Instead, consider the Zen approach, allowing flexibility in your meditation methods. If sitting in quiet meditation doesn't beckon you on a particular day, explore Wall Gazing—an alternative technique to foster mindfulness in the present moment.

During moments when the tranquility required for Zazen mindfulness eludes you, Wall Gazing becomes a valuable practice. As the name implies, this technique involves concentrating on a wall, in contrast to Zazen, where awareness takes precedence. Allow me to share a personal experience from my time in the Himalayas, where my dark hut prompted a unique variation of wall-gazing with a pebble. This practice led to a profound revelation; the stone seemed to disintegrate, revealing intricate particles, magnifying further until only space remained—a powerful insight into recognizing patterns and achieving mental stillness.

To incorporate Wall Gazing into your routine, keep a small stone or pebble with you. Take a few minutes during your workday, either before or after lunch, to gaze at the stone. Utilize this stone as a mindful trigger; press it when angry or down, reminding yourself to stay present. Make it a daily ritual, gazing at it before bedtime, turning the stone into a reminder of gratitude and impermanence.

Emulating the symbolic triggers of mindfulness found in various religions, Meera's idol of Krishna or other visual symbols, Wall Gazing serves as a contemporary reminder. For those who eschew traditional symbols, a simple note on your phone or an affixed piece of paper saying 'Be grateful, Be mindful' can become a potent reminder. The key during wall-gazing is to resist analysis—just be present, sit comfortably with a straight back, and absorb the stillness. This practice intertwines the stillness of the body and mind, creating a harmonious connection. Remember, Zen is about embracing the present moment, and wall gazing is a profound gateway to achieve just that.

Om Swami

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