The Absence of Reference Points – The Evolutionary Advantage of the Meditator

Dear Integral Meditators,

Every day we look for reference points, markers in our life that give us security, familiarity, a feeling of safety. The article below explores the process of meditation as learning to get comfortable with an absence of reference points, and the freedom that it gives.

This Saturday afternoon; Meditations for Creating A Mind of Ease Workshop, final reminder. Also, last two days of the special offer on the Online Mindful Resilience Program. Finally, for those interested in using technology and sound to develop your inner resilience, check our the Transformational Resilience Program 1.0 from I-Awake.In the spirit of the journey,Toby

The Absence of Reference Points – The Evolutionary Advantage of the Meditator

Meditation as the absence of reference points
One way of describing meditation is to say that it is about getting comfortable with the absence of reference points. It is about learning to sit in an open, empty space where we temporarily let go of our sense of self, our sense of trying to control, our sense of structure. It is about relaxing deeply into that place of pure awareness that lies beyond our physical body and senses, and beyond our thinking and feeling mind. It is about relaxing into formlessness.

Sometimes people don’t stick with meditation because
Temporarily and for a short time relaxing into the empty space of awareness can be pleasant and relaxing, but if you do it for an extended period of time it starts to shake up your idea of who you think you are, of how your world functions. It exposes you to the exiting possibility and profound discomfort of real personal transformation and change. Sometimes when we stop our meditation practice we tell ourself  it is because we don’t have time or energy, or that it is too much effort. But the real and underlying reason is that we have become uncomfortable with the absence of familiar reference points as we sit in the open space of meditation, and the freedom & responsibility that this absence of reference points gives us.

The increasing absence of static outer markers in our life
In these days of the information age and the impact that it is having on our work and leisure, we can see the world is changing at an ever faster rate. There is an ever receding number of reliable outer reference points around which we can securely base our life.

The evolutionary and creative advantage of the meditation
A meditator who is making a little bit of effort each day to get comfortable courageously sitting in an inner space without reference points is naturally going to start feeling more comfortable with the reality of outer change in their life. We can start to get comfortable with the continuous change that surrounds us, to enter into the flow of it, to embrace it, and take advantage of the opportunities that arise from it. This gives the meditator a creative advantage over others, both in terms of his/her personal happiness, but also in terms of the other aspects of their life, such as when going through relationship changes, or in professional or business development.

Try sitting for a while each day and deliberately connect to that part of your mind that is open, spacious and without reference points. You don’t have to get rid of your thoughts, or even close your eyes. This open spacious place is present in the here and now, whether your mind is full of thoughts or not. Relax into that open space, allow yourself to get lost for a while, forget who you are, forget where you come from. Get comfortable with that part of you that is and always has been liberated from the limitation of reference points.

Related article: Six Kinds of Loneliness by Pema Chodron

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website 


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