Exercise: Something Missing

Reference: A Scientific Approach to Meditation

If something is missing, then recognize that it is missing. Do not imagine something in its place. If someone asks you a question and no answer come up in your mind, then do not feel obliged to make up an answer. Accept that you do not have an answer.

Meditation Exercise:

Something Missing

Purpose:

To discern the influence of something missing on the perception of what there is.

Pre-requisites:

Complete Exercise: Assumptions.

Instructions:

In this exercise you simply become aware of something missing that could influence your observation. You may do this exercise while sipping coffee in a café or strolling along a river. You may even find a place where you can sit comfortably for a while without being disturbed. Then patiently observe the world go by.

Notice something that is puzzling, and about which full understanding is missing. Do not feel obliged to accept the explanations given; as the explanation could be wrong. For example, you see an empty lion’s cage in the zoo. Explanation given is that lion is out to lunch. The explanation is still more puzzling.

Carefully consider the broad context of the scene, and the purpose of the activity that you are observing. Narrow down to something specific that does not make sense. Examine it closely including your viewpoint with respect to it. Observe your mind imagining reasons to fill the uncomfortable gap in understanding. Notice the impulse to come up with an answer. If there is no answer, then acknowledge the fact. Do not make up an answer. Simply become aware that the right answer is missing and move on to the next observation.

Expand your span of attention and let the physical and mental perceptions pour in.

Continue this exercise for at least 20 minutes. You may repeat this exercise as many times as you wish.

End of Exercise:

When you can discern the influence of something missing on your perceptions, then this exercise is passed.

NOTE 1: At any point you may return to a previous exercise if you feel that you need to complete it.

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