Oftentimes in the middle of a figure drawing session, I’d think that what I had drawn was good enough. I had no idea how to express more detail or perhaps was too bored to try. The instructor would then tell us to “keep pushing.” Even when I felt like there was nowhere left to go, I took his words to heart and would try to find something I hadn’t seen before. There was always something new that I found when I took a step back.
On my 10-day silent medition retreat, I found the same thing to be true. I would become complacent and bored continuously meditation by scanning the sensations in my body. But when I would look again with those words echoing in my mind “keep pushing” I found that when I took a step back, there was more detail I was missing. Vipassana meditation was a lot like figure drawing. It was about finding the objective reality in what you feel in the body the way drawing from life is about finding the objective reality in what you see. The short poses in the drawing just to get down key contours and gestures quickly is like doing quick scanning in meditation to get the key sensations from a top level view.
Applied to the real world, there’s a lot of things that are seemingly mundane or have already been explored in your mind, but if you can just dig a little deeper, you’ll find new layers by pushing further.