Creating a Meditative Default or Preselected Option
It’s a fallback position that I’m talking about here. Once upon a time a few years back some man lost control of his auto and slammed into the back of me as we were pulling away from a traffic light. I called my daughter just after this while waiting for the police to come to make the report for insurance purposes. She commented on how peaceful and calm my voice was for just being rear-ended rather violently. My preselected default meditative state took over without my conscious direction.
Or at least I think that’s why. Since then it had become more conscious within me to work on cultivating that default state of being when my attention isn’t consumed elsewhere. Sometimes, it’s repeating a mantra such as, “May I be content and peaceful, may I be happy and in goodwill, may I be protected and safe . . . “and then eventually changing the “I” to “we” meaning all beings.
When waiting for my coffee to finish reheating in the microwave, at a traffic light, while stretching before or after a workout at the gym the mantra takes over my consciousness. Sometimes, it’s not a mantra, however. Sometimes my attention is naming the breath activity: Breathing in, breathing out. This creates a dropping down into the body and into the moment and peace is naturally there. I consider these mantras or this breath attention as cultivating a set point which can, after habitual reinforcement, become ones ‘go to’ place in good times and in … well, in times that are not so good when they arise in order to soften those jarring moments of life that can leave us in a state of shock or knock us out of a previous state of consciousness.
Default options are pre-set courses of action that take effect if nothing is specified by the decision maker or the decision maker isn’t sure what to do. What is your default setting? Have you consciously cultivated a positive one?