We live primarily in a disembodied mental universe,interrupted periodically. As in touch as we might want to be with others, we are very practiced at being at a slight remove from ourselves. But if we try to counter these habitual tendencies, the mind’s ability to drop its defensive and dissociated posture can be a real surprise. Meditation begins by asking us to rest our minds in our bodies, as we rest our bodies on a cushion and to pay deliberate attention to, rather than ignore, the shifting sensations of the physical organism. These sensations can be subtle, but by spending time with them we start to see two important things. First, the inner experience is changing incessantly. When we are lost in thought, we are protected from this knowledge, but when we dislodge ourselves from our usual mental preoccupations we cannot help but see. Second, it becomes clear how easily we are driven out of the present moment by our own likes and dislikes. To get a sense f how meditation works with this, close your eyes again. Just listen to whatever surrounds you. Sound is a good object of meditation because we generally do not try to control it as much as we do other things. People often have a more difficult time settling into their bodies than they do paying attention to the sounds that appear naturally. When the mind is settled, the underlying ephemeral nature of things can be more clearly perceived. Resistance diminishes, the flight to past and future recedes, and the sense that it might be possible to respond consciously rather than react blindly to events begins to emerge. ~Mark Epstein
how do you listen to sorrow? how do you know it’s ok to not get in your own way?
inquiry for today~ spirit strong. spirit weak. all the same. it’s a good day.
Generous listening is powered by curiosity, a virtue we can invite and nurture in ourselves to render it instinctive. It involves a kind of vulnerability- a willingness to be surprised, to let go of assumptions and take in ambiguity. Generous listening yields better questions. My only measure of the strength of a question now is in the honesty and eloquence it elicits. ~Krista Tippett