Our last two musings on the difference between mindfulness and meditation and how to meditate (short and simple) have gotten a lot of visibility.
Thank you for sharing!
With that in mind (pun intended), we want to focus our "weekly quotes" on these topics.
Many quotes on mindfulness and meditation perpetuate the numerous misconceptions that exist. Or, they're empty platitudes with little relation to the actual practices.
The three we highlight below, however, capture the essence of what they are and what they help you do.
We start with Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche:
"Meditation is not just for relaxation; its primary purpose is to develop the capacity to respond skilfully and gracefully to life's difficulties, as well as its joys."
Relaxing can be a side-effect of a consistent practice, but it's not the goal.
Meditating helps you cultivate awareness of what's happening in your mind. It teaches you to notice and not "blindly" follow thoughts and emotions down a path culminating in conditioned behavior that leads to stress, anxiety, endless worry, et cetera.
This is treating the root cause, whereas "relaxation techniques" only treat the symptoms.
Next, this comes from a few different sources:
"Meditation is not something magical or mysterious, meditation is to see things just as they are. So if you come to meditation expecting magic, I'm very sorry; magic is three doors down the corridor."
There is reality, and there are the filters and constructs our minds put on top of reality. Meditation helps you shed those, which - in turn - allows you to make better decisions and take more skillful actions.
It doesn't get more mystical, magical, or mysterious than that.
And, one of my personal favorites, from James Baraz:
"Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t)."
We cause ourselves to suffer because we try to control temporary phenomena (and, everything is temporary). We cling to what we label "good," and push away what we label "bad." We see the present moment as an obstacle or stepping stone, and always look to the future for happiness. This creates a life of unease and "peaks and valleys."
Understanding your mind, developing a consistent meditation practice, and applying mindfulness to your daily life helps you break free from that life.
Learn about changing your relationship with your mind.
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