I’ve been enjoying seeing (bodily witnessing) the waking up process, in the mornings. It’s so interesting to see the ‘waking time loka’ kick in. This morning was delightful. I saw the first moment, when I conceive of ‘morning.’ I said, “That’s just a concept; that’s not the morning.” And, immediately, I saw that experiencing was already being shaped  – in a micro-second – by the unexamined concept ‘morning’ and all that it carried. I was conceptualising morning, and about to proceed from it! It was an invitation to become a by-stander to myself, to become an object, instead of an integral current in the flow of the day.
I wasn’t buying it though. I found my attention was naturally still within my body, and I was experiencing morning from in there (here). From knowing body from inside the body (as it says in the Mindfulness Sutta). There was a tiny moment of bewilderment. So, I tracked my breath, and noticed that shining energy. Next time this happens, I hope to catch more of that ‘bewildered’ moment. From this new experience of morning, I felt free to appreciate my existenz. It felt right to rise (even though I’ve had big five days, previously.) Focusing was working, here, to give me a feel of the whole. Focusing is a process of checking in with your loka.
I, the person of such-and-such a name, such and such a clan (see Bhara Sutta), I could have allowed the concept of ‘morning,’ and all it carried for me, to condition me. If I had done so (I’ve seen this before), my personality would come in (em-bodying), and presenting itself as the one experiencing the morning. “No way! I see you Mara! I wee you Wily One!” What a trickster!
Of course, that’s the mythic language which I have trained in – the Mara myth. It’s helpful for having a sense of humour to the situation. I could have done that differently. What I was practising, when I said, “That’s just a concept,” was something that I learned from Stanley Block’s book ‘Come to Your Senses. That approach is effective, too. When the mind is giving you some trouble, you invoke his few simple steps, including one that says, “Those are only thoughts.” I had that in mind, but I combined it with what I was teaching in Blue Gum Sangha last night, about ‘concepts.’

And, because of the practice that I’d been doing during the night, after I said, “That’s only a concept,”  my attention found itself open to ‘being there.’ back in my unsupported body. Unsupported? Yes, because we have become used to using the support of concepts to carry us in all our situations throughout the day. That’s why the bewilderment arose. It’s a moment when the ego-system is saying, “Hang on. You can’t do this without me. You’ll die. Your opportunity to hold onto something is passing by, now.”

Hilarious – the pranks that old Mara gets up to,” is my way of taking in the good (Rick Hanson). In this case, the good is the freedom of not taking up the burden of clinging to the five sentient processes. There is a person who is not measurable. That is, the five processes do not limit me, as the personality believes, and wants.
This ‘personality’ running the body – instead of the perfect intelligence that comes with a body – this is just habitual functioning, and I am writing this to encourage us – me, too –  to love our mindfulness (in whatever way you can) continuously, because it works. It works to find what flourishing is (the goal of the secular movement), and it works to free oneself of clinging to the five sentient processes (the NIkaya Buddha’s ‘goal.’)
Then, I was able to be there experiencing the morning, from inside the morning. (Escaping morning as a social construction, by the way.) From one point of view I am the morning. I’m certainly not outside it. Experiencing it from outside it is just how the bystander-self works. Yet, what else are you, but an integral flow within the flow of this much bigger life process? Tell me, where are you experiencing your life from?  From this big life process, which can be called, ‘the day,’ ‘the morning,’ ‘the night’? In the ‘first watch,’ ‘the second watch,’ ‘the third’… we’re it! We enter it through the totality of our being here. (Tipping my hat to Jerzy Kosinski’s Chauncy Gardener).
The later Buddhist traditions developed the version of the ‘loka,’ which they called ”mandala.’ With their development of the  ‘awakened mandala’ concept they helped us appreciate a new way of being in the world, from inside the experience of ‘awake-in-the-world.’ Another way of saying that is from the centre of the mandala, the ‘Buddha’ position, which is the Now. Deep bows to all my lineages – spiritual, cultural, social and biological. I am so grateful, right now.

“From beginningless time we have had a valid awareness, or consciousness, of “I.” This “I,” or self, naturally and innately wants happiness and does not want suffering, and this desire is valid—it is true and reasonable.” – The Dalai Lama, How to Practice.