"We do not dance to see how quickly we can reach the other side of the dance floor. We dance to dance." Alan Watts
We dance for the simple joy of dancing. If the music is right, if we have the right partner, if the environment is right, we experience a flowing from moment to moment, letting each go in order to be fully present for the next. We move in time to the music, in harmony with our partner, without concern for where we have been, or where we are headed.
Meditation is like dancing. We meditate for the joy, for the experience of meditating. There is no floor to cross, no prize to win, no feat to accomplish. There is only being -- for the sake of being.
When we are learning to dance we develop skills for listening to the music, for hearing the beat, for ways to move our bodies, to co-ordinate our mind and body until we no longer have to work at hearing, or force our movements. With practice we learn to just be having the experience of the dance, witness to the harmony between self, partner and music.
When we are learning to meditate we develop skills for noticing the story teller compulsively narrating the circumstances and events of our life. We learn to observe thoughts as they rise, unbidden, from the depths of our sub-conscious, fueled by memory, expectation, upset and desire. Each calling for our attention. Each a diversion, distraction, a little enchantment keeping us confined to the experience of feeling separate, limited to being just a character in our story.
As our skills develop, our powers of concentration become refined, we are able to discern that the narrator with its constant, compulsive, commentary on what is happening, is but one aspect of our mental process. We observe that the mind is both the story teller and the audience, that this little trick of making up stories and then reacting to them is what has comprised our experience of life. And we discern that there is more. We witness that this is occurring and ask ourselves "Who is it that is observing this?"
As our skills in meditation practice progress we learn to disregard both the story teller and our reaction to what is being presented. As we turn down the volume on the narrator we discover that there is a subtle music playing in the background. It is the sound of the cosmic motor, the vibration of creation, the Om, and it is felt as much as heard. With patience and practice we discover that it is possible to remain focused on this inner music and that as we do so we find ourselves transported into a new experience of being. Here, like dancing, we find that there is no where to go, there is no prize, there is no reward. This experience is perfect, whole, complete. Here we have no desires, no compulsions, no upsets, no past, no future, only the perfect experience of this precious moment.
Just as the practice of listening and learning to move prepares us to let go and dance, our practice of observing the fluctuations in the mental field and letting them go, prepares us for meditation. After resting in the experience of Om for a time, with attention flowing only to the sound-vibration, ignoring all distractions, stories, opinions, we finally come to a shift in awareness, to thoughtless being. This is true meditation. Up to this point there is an observer, that which is listening, and something that is being observed, the sound. This is a subject-object relationship. The transition to superconscious awareness collapses the subject and object into an experience of oneness.
In meditation we experience pure being, pure consciousness. Being pure means there is no thing, no experience, nothing to relate to, to compare with. This is a direct experience of Self. Here there is no story. Here there is no accomplishment, no goal, no prize. Why do we meditate? For the joy of being. For the exquisite experience of Self-remembrance.
Just like in dancing, after meditation we have the memory of our experience. Roy Eugene Davis explains that super-conscious meditation leaves tracings, samskaras in the sub-conscious. These are transformative, replacing old thoughts and feelings of limitation, separation from the wholeness of life, with direct experience of wholeness, oneness, being in God. These new tracings help us to be attuned to the essence of our being when we are not sitting in meditation. Like tuning a radio to get a clear signal, in this way we tune the receiver of our awareness to the reality of our nature as expressions of the Divine. We discover that in every moment of our lives we are not outside, not separate, but that we are participating in this perfect dance with the Divine.
In the words of T.S. Elliot "Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance. And there is only the dance." In the silence of our superconscious meditation we discover that we are the eternal witness, the seer, the observer. Then we resume our role and dance with grace and style, providing a useful service, making our contribution, participating consciously in the grand ballroom of life.