Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

Transforming Meditation

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

March 4, 2017

This essay, Transforming Meditation, is the companion piece to Transforminig Disciplines.

I am indebted to Tori "Mami" Watts who inspired this conversation.

She was talking about her meditation practice. Actually that waaay  underspins it. It was more than just a practice for her. It was like her religion. Then again, that takes it unnecessarily far. It certainly was an entire path  for her, a lifestyle. And when she then asked about my interest in transformation (she had heard about my website with its nearly one thousand three hundred conversations for transformation), I quickly saw the futility of presenting transformation as an alternative  ie as another path, and instead looked at whether or not I could say something which transformed meditation itself  rather than merely compared to it or contrasted with it.

Photography by Laurence Platt
Visitors to Cowboy Cottage out-here before the rain in beautiful light
I waited for a while, pondering, saying nothing, until eventually she said "... Well?  ...", at which point I told her I was looking at the best way to say what I wanted to say. Eventually I was ready. I told her there were three distinct areas I was seeing which I thought were worth saying something about regarding meditation and transformation.

The first is the context  (if you will) in which people meditate. Most often it's a context of getting somewhere, some place, a better  place, a purer place. Inside of this context, this  isn't that place - or it's not that place yet. The context has you meditate to become better if not different, purer. You're sure things will go better when you're in that  place.

The second is the direction (if you will) of meditation is to take you inward ie inside. But it's an illusion (albeit a cherished  illusion) that who you are  is located inside. All that's inside is machinery and hamburger. On the contrary, who you are, and where Life itself as it's lived, and living really happen, is out-here. And so meditation creates and fortifies brain patterns which draw you inside, and which habitually continue drawing you inside.

What's more useful I said (since you'll be creating brain patterns anyway) is to create brain patterns directed out-here where Life itself and living actually happen, and which habitually continue drawing you out-here where Life itself and living actually happen.

The third is meditating purely as a health regimen  along with other physical regimens like exercise. Coming from being already alright (no place to go, nothing to get) while recognizing Life itself and living happen out-here, arguably transforms meditation. In actuality, transformation recontextualizes  (I love  that word) meditation.

I could tell it distinguished meditation in a way she'd never considered before. But meditation's really not my bailiwick. I was using meditation (riffing on  meditation, if you will) to introduce her to transformation. She may not follow up. And then again, she may. Either way I'm really fine with her. She's in a good place - wherever it is.

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