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Lions Roar : March 2010
SHAMBHALA SUN MArcH 2010 18 There is the material world and there is the conscious world, and meditation deals with the conscious world. Reducing our activities for even ten minutes a day by sitting down to contemplate our lives leads to awareness that our situation is precious. At any mo- ment that could change, but for now we have the ability to relax in peace, taking a break from the continual discursiveness in our mind. It is understandable that our mind is busy: our whole life is very busy, and we have been training our mind in busy-ness. In the practice of meditation, we are reclaiming it. As we begin to relate with our mind, our alertness and mindfulness increase. At first it’s just a matter of trying to be present, so we connect with our breath. Then we have to remember to follow the breath, come back to the breath, and let the thoughts go. As our sense faculties— sight, sound, smell, taste, touch—begin to relax, we start noticing how we feel. Our consciousness has now become more subtle and soft. What we are feeling is the mindfulness of being alive. How does this practice help us in daily life? As we do it, we begin to glimpse our own richness, which is peace and equa- nimity. This experience gradually makes us less aggressive. Our senses take on a richer quality, with a strong sense of apprecia- tion. We have mindfulness of our feelings. We begin to feel how we feel. Then we are able to make intelligent decisions about what to do with our emotions. Sometimes people ask, “What do I do when I feel jealous?” or, “How do I get less angry?” With consistent daily practice, we calm the waves of our mind at a deep level. Then when a tsunami of emotion arises during the day, we can do what I call “situ- ational contemplation”—looking at the arising emotion and slowly unraveling it, rather than throwing a tantrum or having another drink. Having learned to engage in mindfulness, we no longer struggle against the world so much. We can accom- plish our activity fluidly, with ease. Mindfulness teaches us to be aware of how we are manifesting and how we are re- lating to our mind. With space in the mind, we are able to appreciate simplicity and WHERE THE Scholarship IS RICH, THE Meditation IS DEEP, AND Service IS FUNDAMENTAL. discover a place . . . MAITRIPA COLLEGE discover www.maitripa.org |