when we start to meditate or to work with any kind of spiritual discipline, we often think that somehow we’re going to improve, which is a subtle aggression against who we really are. we might say, “if it weren’t for my husband, i’d have a perfect marriage.” “if it weren’t for the fact that my boss and i can’t get on, my job would be just great.” and, “if it weren’t for my mind, my meditation would be excellent.” but lovingkindness—maitri (pali, metta)—toward ourselves doesn’t mean getting rid of anything. meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. the ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. that’s what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest. gentleness is a sense of good-heartedness toward ourselves. openness is being able to let go and to open. to be encouraged to stay with our vulnerability is news that we can use. sitting meditation is our support for learning how to do this.
[bodhicitta is the wish to attain enlightenment and to bring all beings to the same awakened state]. it is a method of cultivating unconditional friendliness toward ourselves and for parting the curtain of indifference that distances us from the suffering of others. it is our vehicle for learning to be a truly loving person. in the midst of continually talking to ourselves, we experience a pause, as if awakening from a dream. this coming back to the immediacy of our experience is training in unconditional, or absolute, bodhicitta. by simply staying here, we relax more and more into the open dimension of our being. awareness of the six points of posture is a way to be really relaxed and settled in our body. anytime you feel distracted, bring your attention back to your body and these six points of posture. reprinted in arrangement with shambhala publications, inc. boulder, co. www.shambhala.com thank you for subscribing to tricycle!
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