Hosted by Andrea Rubin
‘If I lived here I’d be home now.’
‘I become a transparent eyeball.’
I’ve been sitting with these two koans for a couple of weeks now. They came to mind unexpectedly during a recent conversation about my meditation practice.
“If you lived here you’d be home now” is a roadside sign I used to see in Boston after I got out of college, and the line about the transparent eyeball comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Nature” that I first encountered in the tenth grade.
I tried to choose just one koan to sit with but I couldn’t manage to separate them. They vied for my attention. As I’ve been sitting with them, I’ve been realizing they flow together to reflect two aspects of my noticing/attention/meditation practice.
The first koan affects me by prompting me to notice how I’m feeling, what’s going on — with it, my attention arrives at my current mental state and/or whatever’s going on now and comes in for a landing, at least for a while. I have privately amused myself a bunch of times by sitting on my living room couch saying “If I lived here I’d be home by now”. My living room comes alive (Or do I come alive? Or my attention comes alive? I’m not quite sure what happens since apparently I’m already alive and my living room is called a living room).
The second koan describes how I occasionally feel after a retreat or with more intensive daily meditation — my perception feels unusually rich — like I’m perceiving from inside an eyeball that is made up of more senses than vision — I experience trees, sky, water, birds, people as having an extra dimension, extra details, or maybe my awareness itself possesses extra dimensions that I’m not usually in touch with. At times when I’m able to listen attentively to someone, it feels like I become a transparent ear.
I’m looking forward to sharing more on Sunday and hearing your experience of these random koans.
Please join me on Zoom on Sunday at 4 p.m. to share our various experiences, eyeballs, homes.