From the BlogMeet Ron


Dear friends,
It seems many of us get hooked by trying to get somewhere in our mindfulness meditation practice.  
We evaluate where we are now and feel there is some ultra-cool place where meditation, if done correctly, will eventually take us. 
But we seem to be doing meditation wrong, because not much is happening.

Couple things: what if

1) we fully relax and see that we can’t do mindfulness meditation wrong, and

2) the striving to get to that ultra-cool place is compounding our discontent?

This is assuming, of course, you experience even a smidgen of discontent or disappoint in your life.

And if you don’t, and start practicing meditation, you likely will run into some, as mindfulness starts to percolate down into strata of our minds many of us have conveniently disregarded for years and decades.

So here we are.

Consider a remark by no other than the Dalai Lama:

“There is no need for temples. No need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples. My philosophy is kindness.”

Such a striking statement I feel shows that indeed, as Don Cupitt notes in his remarkable book The Great Questions of Life:

“We are at the beginning of a global shift in the concept of religion away from the view of religion as a way of transcending the human condition and toward a view that religion is about embracing the human condition.”

We already have what we need – your “brain and your heart “are your temples, and your philosophy, kindness. With these we can truly “embrace the human condition.” 

When we embrace with mindfulness what is actually happening in the moment, be it stubbing your toe or your pride, we learn again and again that the fuller we can embrace “what is,” the fuller mind and body can relax and rest.

You really can’t do this wrong.
And there are no secret techniques. So you can check that one off the list.
It’s just about embracing now, without trying to improve or tweak anything. Trying to tweak things just brings more frustration, the present moment is un-tweak-able. 
It’s just simply coming home again and again. No striving necessary.
As it says in the Zhuangzi , the ancient Chinese text from the late Warring States period (476–221 BC):

“Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.”

Some folks I talk to seem to be unconsciously insisting they need certain things to get started with mindful meditation, such as the right book, mp3s, DVDs, teacher(s), retreats …

But since we already have what we need, that’s another big one to check off the list.

And in truly seeing this, that we are fully endowed with all we need, there may be a juicy-ness, a fullness, some call it a joy, in just experiencing, without grasping or rejecting, what arises in the moment completely.

This is a quiet and deep joy that, in a way, has always been there, covered over by strata of reactivity and compulsiveness which subtly rule our lives, in one form or another.

One teacher I was very fortunate to sit a retreat with early on in my practice was Munindra, a Bengali teacher who trained in Burma.

One of his students, Sharon Salzberg, recounts that when Munindra was asked once why he practiced his response was,

“So I will see the tiny purple flowers by the side of the road as I walk to town each day.”

Can we practice like this?

Tom, Katina, and the kids

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