I was at Wat Tum Sua again today (Buddhist temple in southern Thailand). The weather was nice, cool and windy. No rain. There were very few people at the top. When I first got to the top and took off my shoes to go up onto the platform, there was a young monk sitting in some shade in the corner. I recognized him as one I’d seen at the top before. He was meditating. I have honestly not seen even 1 monk meditating in Thailand at a wat before except at Wat Pah Nanachat and Suan Mokkh.
I looked out at the mountains and he came over to me and offered me a soy milk box which I took with thanks. I spoke to him in Thai and he was extremely shy to speak, but wanted to speak it seemed. He was from Suratthani area and had been at the Wat Thamsuea for about a year. He was 21 years old.
Anyway, so I went to sit and meditate and found a place on the ground. I sat for maybe an hour and had varying degrees of concentration and mindlessness (vernlessness) as there was no vern to watch the breath. I had to focus on the breath to bring a vern back into the picture. Odd to read this, I know, but, that is the experience. There is nothing there to watch the breath… no “me” so to speak. If I wasn’t trying to force something to be there to watch the breath – there is just nothingness. I am aware of things around… the air, the sounds, etc. If I open my eyes – I can see without a problem… and yet, still – there is no center point for where “i” am. It’s like no “me”.
Anyway, the video might explain better… I filmed as I walked down the steps, showing me at first – then showing the steps.
Walking down steps at Wat Thamsuea video > (.wmv about 4MB)
Still much the same. If I sit to meditate the mind is quiet already. There’s no sense following the breath because the mind is still. The body relaxes easily… now what is the point of meditation when I have this level of peace from the start?
I’d rather not ask Buddhists or consult books as I like to see how things play out on their own… probably the jhanas wouldn’t have come at all if I’d gone looking. Better just to see what happens…