Via: Meditation Diary
There are numerous ways to work with the mind. One of the most effective is through the tool of sitting meditation.
Sitting meditation opens us to each and every moment of our life. Each moment is totally unique and unknown. Our mental world is seemingly predictable and graspable.
We believe that thinking through all the events and to-dos of our life will provide us with ground and security. But it’s all a fantasy, and this very moment, free of conceptual overlay, is completely unique. It is absolutely unknown. We’ve never experienced this very moment before, and the next moment will not be the same as the one we are in now.
Meditation teaches us how to relate to life directly, so we can truly experience the present moment, free from conceptual overlay.
Meditation gives us the opportunity to have an open, compassionate attentiveness to whatever is going on. The meditative space is like the big sky— spacious, vast enough to accommodate anything that arises.
We do not meditate in order to be comfortable. In other words, we don’t meditate in order to always, all the time, feel good. I imagine shockwaves are passing through you as you read this, because so many people come to meditation to simply “feel better.” However, the purpose of meditation is not to feel bad, you’ll be glad to know. Rather, meditation gives us the opportunity to have an open, compassionate attentiveness to whatever is going on. The meditative space is like the big sky— spacious, vast enough to accommodate anything that arises.
In meditation, our thoughts and emotions can become like clouds that dwell and pass away. Good and comfortable, pleasing and difficult and painful—all of this comes and goes. So the essence of meditation is training in something that is quite radical and definitely not the habitual pattern of the species: and that is to stay with ourselves no matter what is happening, without putting labels of good and bad, right and wrong, pure and impure, on top of our experience.
As we meditate, we are nurturing five qualities that begin to come forth over the months and years that we practice. You might find it helpful to reconnect with these qualities whenever you ask yourself, “Why am I meditating?”