Friday, May 31, 2013

Meditation from a beginner's perspective

image compliments of wayside gardens

I'm definitely a beginner to meditation.  I resist it.  In fact, in my mind, a screaming, kicking, two-year old comes out whenever the time comes to sit in stillness, and let things come up of their own accord.

In this piece, Happiness is a Skill, Mattieu Ricard, a monk with something like 50,000 hours of meditation practice (of various flavors, like focused attention, loving kindness, etc.) calls himself a beginner.  That makes me feel like I'm in good company, even when I squirm at the thought of sitting for even five minutes.  Oh yeah, and he translates for the Dalai Lama!  It's a great, inspirational read.  

He talks of small shifts that you can see in retrospect, when you realize you've held your center rather than being thrown by every little bump in the road.  And about cultivating generosity within, towards oneself, as the precursor for any turning outward.  

In any case, I managed to sit for twelve minutes this morning.  And I am proud.  And, of course, as it always is, once I sat down, the experience was not unpleasant at all, and led toward relaxation of my spinning mind.

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