Questions on Sitting

These are question posed to me by Jerry on the post, Sitting #2.

Not judging the thoughts and or compulsions that seem to be unsavory and dark is one thing. However, is reducing them and even eliminating them possible?

Who decides that the thoughts are unsavory and dark? There needs to be the judgment of good or bad before any of that can take place. So, even if you consider you are not judging the thought, the idea that the thought is dark or should be eliminated is still a judgment.

When you sit in order to see these things, you must go slowly, in a step-wise fashion. Don't instantly fall back on what you already know and have memorized. Leave space for the meaning to become apparent without your effort. This may not be easy to see yet, but you do not need to be there controlling what is happening. Just sit with your curiosity, and find out what is happening.

...when I am not in meditation, I am prone to experience thoughts and inclinations that are sometimes mean, unsympathetic, selfish, desirous and forgetful of higher spiritual truths and states-of-being.

That is exactly where you want to be. Forget what happens on the cushion, because that is not your daily life. It is just a short diversion, and when it is over, you will wish for it to continue.

If you have thoughts that are mean, selfish, and so on, those are your greatest teachers. It is the perfect opportunity to see what is happening within, without resorting to theorizing. When there is anger, it is not a theory; it is there. And it is in that moment when you can go deeper and deeper, sinking into the reality of how your mind is functioning. It is extremely beautiful to behold.

All of the thoughts you hate will set you free.

Don't be so proud that you cannot step away from the anger to see it clearly. Usually, one is angry, and there may be a conscious recognition of that anger. But there is also a vested interest in staying angry. It could be that, if you suddenly stop being angry, people will think you are a fool for not sticking with it. Or it could be any of a thousand different reasons. But these will be clear when you see it for yourself.

There are no thoughts to avoid; only thoughts to observe.

Thru meditation and spiritual discipline, is it possible to be in that higher state-of-being more and more, without even meditating, so that the lower impulses are reduced and or eliminated?

If so called "lower impulses" are there, that is your meditation. It is not something you do for just one hour. It is the flow of awareness as you move about your day. It is everything as it is.

If you want to use it as a tool to eliminate certain types of thoughts, forget it. Awareness is the movement of sitting with what is (even if you are standing). It is something that moves as you move. It has nothing to do with what you believe to be good or bad.

That being said, it couldn't be more simple. However, you might find it difficult to get into, if you have never considered such a thing. There is something I can recommend to you. If you decide to sit down and try to watch this movement, do it in nature. Go outside; somewhere close to mountains, rivers, forests, fields, lakes, or whatever you happen to have where you live. Sit in that enviroment for some time and see what happens in your mind. Just watch, listen, observe.

The reason I recommend nature as often as I do is because it is something thought cannot touch. Thought can certainly make up stories and create theories about nature, but it cannot touch it. Thought can create a pencil, a chair, guitars, and the most magnificent cathedrals, but it can do absolutely nothing about nature. Only awe in its presence.

Or, are we doomed to exist with a mixture of yin and yang, positive and negative, that acceptance of(thus taking away their power over us)will bring about realizations which lead to enlightenment?

Is there doom in existing in a certain way, or is there only existence? Is thought good or bad, or is it merely your thoughts of thought being good or bad? Go deeply within yourself and look at it.

Do you want to accept + and - only because you crave an end result? If I accept what is, I'll get the realization or the enlightenment. Is that it? If so, it is still the dualism of the seeker and the thing to be sought. Now, if this is what is there, it is absolutely fine. It simply becomes your meditation. You can only work with where you are and what you have.

You can never have more or less than what you have. That is where you start, and that is where it ends.

I don't know that I've answered your questions, but I hope you can get something out of this. Feel free to leave your comments below, and maybe we can go into it together if you like.