I’ve always wanted a spring on my property. (Be careful what you wish for.) I suddenly see a puddle of water in the middle of a flower bed.
The nearby fishpond is frozen, but this little puddle is not. The water in the puddle moves ever so subtly, but it is moving. The water is seeping out of the ground, and this little bit of movement prevents the water in the puddle from freezing.
When we meditate, we notice the gross sensations of the body–breathing, tingling, pulsing. But as our concentration deepens (and it does not have to be deep), we begin to notice more subtleties.
Over the years, i have tracked torpor (sleepiness on the cushion) back and back. I started with the sleepy breath pattern and noticed the big gap between certain breaths. I noticed random dream-like images. All indicators that head-bobbing was just around the corner of the next breath. Just last year, i noticed a heaviness in the forehead–sort of like a big, heavy, velvet theater curtain had just fallen inside my skull. On the right-hand side of my forehead. That’s the blinking yellow light that tells me it’s time to wake up before i fall completely asleep.
Shinzen Young says, “Subtle is significant.”
You bet. Just a little movement keeps the water–or my meditation–from freezing to a halt.