From the BlogMeet Ron


Dear Friends,

The writer Alice Walker has good advice for all of us who practice mindfulness meditation when she writes,

Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise

As a mindfulness teacher I feel such joy when folks describe feelings that were familiar to them from childhood, such as waking up in the morning and feeling excited for no particular reason.

Feeling causelessly excited by life just bubbles out of our true nature that we uncover in our practice.

When our kids were little Katina and I would delight endlessly in watching them learn new things and play in the big yard in the old house with wild abandon.

When our son was small he could spend hours in perpetual wonder and surprise digging in the yard, looking at bugs, and playing with lizards and geckos.
I think we delight in the company of children because they remind us of our own wondrous capacity to be surprised and delighted as normal part of part of our life.

Mindfulness meditation allows us to learn new things and play in a kind of continual surprise, as we let go of that heavy know-it-all part of us, and just bask in the unfolding moments.

Abraham J. Heschel, the late polish-born American professor of Jewish theology, had this to say: this is cut out and post on refrigerator worthy:

I would say an individual dies when he ceases to be surprised. I am surprised every morning that I see the sun shine again. When I see an act of evil, I’m not accommodated… I’m still surprised. That’s why I’m against it, why I can hope against it. We must learn how to be surprised. Not to adjust ourselves. I am the most maladjusted person in society.

What a thing to say – that he is the most maladjusted person in society!

He is saying, I think in part, that we could do well to challenge the massages we receive on multiple media channels toward mediocrity and mindless consumerism.

Luckily for us, mindfulness meditation has a built-in channel of innocent delight and contentment that needs no outside reinforcements.

In mindful meditation, contentment seeps into our being like the smell of the sweet pikake blossoms on the evening breeze. 

Abraham J. Heschel again:
Get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.

I read this morning, with some surprise, that the “Paris Agreement” on climate change – potentially a turning point for our planet – was signed.

As mindfulness meditation practitioners we must never let the wonder of the present moment and the delight of playing in the fields of our true nature lead us into self-absorbed complacency.

Meditation simply helps us stay infinitely content and sane in this crazy world.

I will leave you this week with a reflection by the Catholic Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast:

More and more people are beginning to realize that the survival of our planet depends on our sense of belonging — to all other humans, to dolphins caught in the dragnets, to chickens and pigs and calves raised in animal concentration camps, to redwoods and rainforests, to kelp beds in our oceans, and to the ozone layer. More and more people are becoming aware that every act that affirms this belonging is a moral act of worship, the fulfillment of a precept written in every human heart.

Let’s allow our meditation practice to be such an act of worship.
Tom, Katina, Kupaianaha … and Uilalani

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