Would love to get some feedback from readers on the recurrent series of posts I am leaving with tips for people who are new to meditation. Please feel free to leave a comment or to drop a note on the Ask Here tab on the blog.
“Meditation teaches us safe ways to open ourselves to the full range of experience — painful, pleasurable, and neutral — so we can learn how to be a friend to ourselves in good times and bad. During meditation sessions we practice being with difficult emotions and thoughts, even frightening ones, in an open and accepting way, without adding self-criticism to something that already hurts.”
~~ Sharon Salzberg, Happiness
Mindfulness has such huge implications for things like working with what we label mental illness — our afflictive states such as anxiety, depression, despair, angst, sadness, phobia, stagnation, boredom, false euphoria, lack of concentration and mindlessness.
It also plays a major part in everyday life-like relationship, loss, illness, dying, communication, community, family, work, and just simply living.
This quote by Sharon Salzberg reminds me of Frank Ostaseki’s and Roshi Joan Halifax‘s teachings on being with dying.
I would love to teach every therapist and every teacher out there. . . in addition to every caregiver, every doctor, every patient. . . well, that could be all of us, couldn’t it?
Imagine teaching our children how to stay with their problems without running, hiding, drinking & druging, without losing themselves in peer pressure, sex before they are ready, self-mutilation, or eating disorders.
What would it do for our self concept?
Or our ability to make choices (really informed choices?)
Or create healthy relationships. . .
I have to believe that we would grow a different world. . .
one where people could have time and space to explore what ails them rather than push it away
one where loved ones could be present to the needs of our children, the elderly, and ill
one where we didn’t go running for the bottle or the prescription pad
moved toward the meditation cushion, using walking meditation
or held the space for people to creatively and compassionately deal with their difficulties and those of others.
or foster open-hearted communication, group problem-solving, and nurturing for all.
So much good could come from those two minutes of breathing at your desk.
Or 10 minutes on your cushion
Or the walk where I listen to the rustling of leaves below my feet
Or that plate of food I savor and eat, bite by bite.
So what keeps us from it?
How do we teach others?
How do we model what kind of world we could have and what kind of world we want?
The answer (and the power) lies in the space between our exhale and inhale. . .
Does that sound cryptic? It really isn’t. Pick up a book about meditation and then try it.
You’ll get it!
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