“Gauge” is a system or standard of measurement. The use of gauges in industry is global. For instance, we refer to many items referencing their size by gauge: wire, fabric, the thickness of things such as metal and plastics, etc. There are, of course, gauges; devices used to measure different objects to determine their size, thickness and positioning. There are many types of gauges used for measuring, for example, pressure, nautical, dimensional, plug gauges, ring gauges… the list goes on and on. It appears there is some type of gauge used to measure pretty much anything and everything. There is another definition of gauge. It refers to measuring your feelings or progress, based on judgments of the effects of a situation or progress of the application of knowledge or education. For instance, the student of meditation gauged their progress on the path of conscious awareness by the amount of time they spent in compulsive repetitive thought. It is the gauging that becomes the focus of the student of meditation.
The student spoke to the teacher, “In moments I identify as frustrating, I’m not sure if I’m making progress in my studies. There are moments when I feel it prudent to gauge my progress on the path of awakening, though this progress may be obvious to most practitioners. As I continue to practice my meditations, I experience less stress and anxiety. I am less judgmental and have a greater understanding of the plight of my fellow humans. I criticize less, and love more. Moments spent in negativity and grief are shorter, while awareness of peace, love and joy increases. I spend less time trapped in the repetitive workings of my mind and enjoy many a moment blissful and at peace. Is this not the true gauge of my progress?”
The teacher answered, “Yes, you gauge your progress of awakening by the amount of time you spend present to the amount of time you spend in the functioning of the stream of thought.”
A meditation, try it out here and there when it comes to mind or purposefully. You can purposefully practice meditation or not. Often, meditation practice comes about in the moment, for example, when you find yourself in the stream of thought and use the opportunity to meditate. You would do well to practice meditating here and there throughout your day, purposefully (See www.wakingupwithpatrick.com). Here is one on gauging: as your progress continues with your meditations, focus your attention on the amount of time you spend in thought compared to the amount of time you do not. You may reflect on the past, comparing the difference between then and now. Keep in mind, in this situation we are using awareness of the past as a tool to gauge our progress. Be aware if stepping into thoughts of the past leads you into repetitive, negative thinking. If this happens, focus your attention on something and observe the thinking.
It’s a new day. ••