Figure and Ground

In my meditation this morning thoughts flow freely… which is okay. I am human—not free of thought and preoccupation, vocational demands and social calendar, creative projects and commitments… tugging at the fabric of being where I sit.

If you make a mark on a sheet of paper, the mark is the figure, the paper is the ground.

In this ground of being I sit, so that the thoughts come and go as they will, and the ground rests unmoving, unmoved, content to have all those possible doings dance across its vast floor, like water spiders skating on the surface of a pond.

What is so important, among those passing thoughts? I’m sure you don’t need to hear about it. For my multifarious doings, sketch in your details.

Holding space, while the body sits, the bigger mind observes, accepts.

So we continue, surveying the ground on which the figures dance. Graphic slashes and squiggles, or intricate linguistic constructions; insect tracks or digital code; numbers and letters spelling fictions and nonfictions; facts and speculations; past and future creations and mirrors of creation.

maui visionAll the while the silence of the trees sets my example: there is a wise, even loving forest to grow these trees; and the trees themselves, in fractal fidelity, embrace microzones of visible and invisible activity within their steady boughs.

Each breath follows, wave upon wave, rolling the ground forward, apparently, though the motion is an illusion of the locomotive mind. The moving sidewalk, the Escher escalator going down to up and up to down, the treadmill looping in place. Each breath slows, pauses, allowing all to pass, or to rest with it; caught in a snapshot of here and now, one figure among many, highlighted against the one ground.

The witness sees the ground of the ego’s being.
Who sees the ground of the witness’s being?

chair

 

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