The Seven Lively Sins
If you listen to meditators talk about their experiences, how do they describe meditation?
- I was meditating along, and suddenly I realized, "I can do it. I can pull this off."
- I found myself thinking about my friend, wanting the kind of relationship she has.
- All these cravings came to awareness, for food, and sex, and a vacation.
- one desire after the other, all kinds of desires.
- The breath felt nurturing, like I am being fed.
- I became aware of light tingling sensations, kind of sexy.
- I found myself being angry at people who have slighted me.
- I fell into a rest so deep, way deeper than sleep.
- I actually fell asleep for awhile. Then when I woke up I felt like lead, I couldn't move.
Actually, people experience everything in meditation, these are just a few. One day I was listening to all this and realized I was hearing the Seven Deadly Sins! But in a different way, from the inside. What meditators describe is Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed and Sloth - The classic Seven Deadly Sins
The classic Seven Deadly Sins
Pride - an excessive belief in one's abilities.
Envy - desire for things, relationships, status, or abilities that other people have.
Gluttony - a desire to consume more than you require.
Lust - a craving for the pleasures of the flesh
Anger - a feeling of displeasure.
Greed - a desire for material gain.
Sloth - laziness, the desire to avoid work.
Meditators get in trouble trying to resist feeling these flows of energy. Because meditation is, or can be, a process of welcoming your vitality, and being excited by the universe.
When you savor something, as in meditation, you sort of feed on it. The excess energy gets absorbed into your system and redistributed. The appropriate energy gets used for life. The specific form of a desire gets remodeled into something that you can go for. So what makes meditation juicy is that you are savoring the Seven Sins – they are what gives life. The Seven "Sins" are what we feel when our vitality is liberating itself.
When we sit still to meditate, what we become aware of is the motion of life through us, for example the breath. Breath keeps us alive and breath flows rhythmically. Desires, like breath, flow continuously, and we can accept the gift of each desire as it comes, for it leaves us enriched, just that moment of savoring it.
When we meditate, we select some aspect of life we love, and pay attention to it. What I am calling a meditation technique is paying attention to the rhythm of such an experience, tracking it through all its phases, and returning again and again to be educated by it. Most of what is meant by practicing meditation is just spending half an hour a day or so being in the presence of such a quality of attention, then enjoying the effect this has on your daily life. Meditation is the practice of developing your capacity for rich experience.
Everyone is a yogi for half a second when they stop to smell the roses. It’s all there in that moment of conscious, grateful breathing. When you cultivate your gratitude for breath, something good happens at a deep level. You make friends with life.