Thursday, March 14, 2013

Learning to Stay (Pema Chodron)

Wisdom Quarterly; Pema Chodron (Wisdom of No Escape) via Warren (
One way to stay is to notice when the mind wanders off. It is in the noticing that we are not carried away. We begin to take charge and live. We can BE HERE NOW (

The truth is, anyone who's ever tried meditation learns quickly that we are almost never fully present.

I remember when I was first given meditation instruction.  It sounds so simple: Just sit down, get comfortable, and bring light awareness to your breath. When your mind wanders, gently come back and stay present with your breath.

I thought, "This will be easy." Then someone hit a gong to begin and I tried it. What I found was that I wasn't present with a single breath until they hit the gong again to end the session. I had spent the whole time lost in thought....
Be gentle. Relax. Don't concentrate. Ease in by balancing attention and ease.
All kinds of things happen when we meditate -- everything from thoughts to shortness of breath to visual images, from physical discomfort to mental distress to peak experiences. All of that happens... What I've noticed about the people whom I consider to be awake is this:
They're fully conscious of whatever is happening. Their minds don't go off anywhere. They just stay right here with chaos, with silence, with a carnival, in an emergency room, on a mountainside: they're completely receptive and open to what's happening. More

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