Feelings arise within the state of calm. The mind is experiencing feelings and calm at the same time, without being disturbed. When there is calm like this, there are no harmful consequences. Problems occur when the chicken gets out of the coop. For instance you may be watching the breath entering and leaving and then forget yourself, allowing the mind to wander away from the breath, back home, off to the shops or any number of different places. Perhaps even a half hour may pass before you suddenly realize that you’re supposes to be practicing meditation and you reprimand yourself for your lack of mindfulness. This is where you have to be really careful because this is where the chicken gets out of the coop – the mind leaves its base of calm.
Ajahn Chah, What’s What
photo erik christensen