Friday, June 17, 2016

Training for equanimity

I suspect most people assume that those of us who meditate are looking to create a few moments of peace in the middle of a busy day.  Even we meditators often come to it hoping for a taste of Nirvana, for enlightenment, for some magical sense of comfort or contentment or well-being.

But it seems to me, as I look back over my years of meditation, that the process is more about wrestling with all the entanglements that keep us from that holy peace within.  When we sit quietly, we can't help but notice all the places our minds take us; can't help but hear all the voices clamoring within -- the irritations and annoyances, the fears and the angers, the blaming and the shaming.

It's not so much that the ego is trying to keep us from finding that quiet place of rest below its interference; it's more like we're coming to know ourselves, observing and befriending all the obstacles we toss into our own paths that keep us from being the calm, compassionate, centered, and fully present individuals we'd like to be.

Which means -- to me, at least -- that I find it easier to be more objective and compassionate for the REST of the day; the time AFTER meditation. Having visited with the less complacent parts of myself, having come to know them a little better, I find it easier to recognize them when they surface in various interactions throughout the day.  Having learned to greet them, to acknowledge them, and to release them during meditation, I can greet, acknowledge, and release them when they emerge ready to do combat during the course of my daily activities.

And that, in turn, allows me to move through life with just a little more presence; just a little more equanimity.  And it's all good.

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