Practice & Voice, Uncategorized

The Antidote to Reactivity

We do meditation in rounds of fifteen minutes. You will hear a gong at each interval and a double gong at the end. You are free to leave at any time, just do so quietly; return and try again in future. Remember that you are your own authority and that your internal state is your responsibility. If you have a default meditation then use it, otherwise just sit still and observe your breath. We need less talking and more doing. The whole purpose of meditation practice is to integrate a meditative state of mind into all your waking hours, so that you are aware of what you are doing and why.
Meditation is the antidote to reactivity. For example: “The only thing that matters is whether or not you can perform a task. When the inclination to say something cruel occurs, …, can you resist acting on that impulse?” Meditation gives you the head-space to observe and to know when your buttons are being pushed, so that you can choose not to rise to the bait.

Meditation is extremely easy. It is just a matter of sitting still and following the breath; watching the thoughts, feelings, and emotions as they arise in the mind; getting caught up in the internal dialog; recognizing that you’ve lost focus and gently returning to following the breath. This cycle repeats continuously. Given enough time, the cycle will slow and your mind will stabilize and be less inclined to wander.
The snow globe is a good analogy for your head. Shaken and stirred, the white flakes are swirling around inside the globe, just as the thoughts and emotions are swirling around in your head. Let the globe sit and, eventually, the white flakes will settle. And so it is with your thoughts and emotions, eventually they will stabilize and be less trouble. Practice at meditation strengthens this stability. “Meditation is to the mind what aerobic exercise is to the body.”
Given enough time(!), regular practice will help you find e nough time for meditation to take effect. Make a start. All you need is five minutes at the same time every day. Sit comfortably upright and set a timer for five minutes. You can do this anywhere, even in your parked car before you get out and go into work. Just sit with your hands cupped together in your lap, close your eyes, relax, and observe your breathing in and breathing out.
“Meditation originates and culminates in the every day sublime…. Meditation is about embracing what is happening to this organism as it touches its environment in this moment…. The mystical doesn’t transcend the world but saturates it. ‘The mystical is not how the world is, but as it is.’”

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