How often do we allow ourselves to simply “be” during our sitting? All too often, we may be trying to achieve some kind of special state, or get to an imagined mental place that we’ve heard of or read about. It’s so easy to feel we must somehow avoid ourselves, just as we are, in the present moment.
But we can release the whole idea that how things are right now is, for some reason, not okay. Strangely, the kind of transformation we might want actually comes by allowing things to be as they are, by accepting “what is.” This kind of deep acceptance transforms our orientation, our attitude, and even our approach to life.
As meditators, we find that our minds are sometimes restless, and are naturally susceptible to all manner of inner and outer conditions that demand our attention, and take us away from our intrinsic being, and our actual experience of the present moment.
And it’s also true that over years of practice, our minds will often in fact become less restless over time, less affected by causes and conditions. At times our minds can be remarkably still, and we experience a deeply fulfilling natural states of being while we are outwardly doing nothing.
The further we go, the more we may discover that our very being is actually almost something tangible, almost a thing in itself, and that it is intrinsically fulfilling.
But nevertheless, a lifetime of practice is not going to be one long, steady trajectory toward ever deeper stillness and fulfilment. Rather, it will be more like a dance, where we are in step for a while, then out of step, then back in. We will have more and more phases of deep quiet, but we will also pop out of it. This is how we learn to deal with the comfort and the discomfort that we face, on and off the cushion.
Message from Henry is from our August 8, 2022 Newsletter