It’s 11pm and I’m at the library. I’ve been working relentlessly from dawn, consoled by sensations of great meaning. The grind does not pass unnoticed, however. I’m tired.
I have absolutely no idea why some days feel more spiritual than others. There is nothing deliberate about it. If I seek it, I get the opposite effect. Perhaps I ought to describe the sensation:
It’s quiet inside. It’s not as if I ceased thought, thought is definitely there, but it’s in the background. Working feels more like playing an instrument than doing actual work. I hear the keystrokes and the mouse clicking in the background: it’s not me doing the work. When speaking to people, I listen beyond words and feel as the other person feels. I never think about what I’m going to respond, words come out of my mouth and I’m often surprised at what I say. Sometimes it’s insightful.
I’m focusing on the breath, I feel intensely in the nostrils, and the sensation soon spreads to different parts of my head. I stopped typing and I felt my entire nervous system through my body, and the pulse on my hands is quite noticeable. The sensations come in waves and it makes me feel distinctly alive.
My preoccupations of the past few days seem meaningless. I was concerned about violating my principles by bailing on my bike, but at this moment I don’t feel any conundrum. It’s as if it had been a lesson learned years ago. It’s a valid learning experience without the emotional burden.
Walking towards the office early in the morning I had a knot in my stomach, I remember now. I felt dread. I don’t remember much about how I got to the office. I came into the state gradually while working. When I went out for lunch, I was grateful about the sun, and I recall the tiniest details about my walk and lunch. When I came back into the office I sat down on the couch to meditate 30 minutes, but this was done because of the spiritual disposition and was not the cause of it.
As I’m writing this I feel tempted to plan something to induce it tomorrow, but intuitively I know there is nothing to be induced. It’s always there, in the background. It’s about removing, not about adding.
Chapter 19 of the Tao Te Ching comes to mind:
Forget about knowledge and wisdom, and people will be a hundred times better off. Throw away charity and righteousness, and people will return to brotherly love. Throw away profit and greed, and there won’t be any thieves.
These three are superficial and aren’t enough to keep us at the center of the circle, so we must also:
Embrace simplicity. Put others first. Desire little.