Meditation is the only intentional, systematic human activity which at the bottom is about not trying to improve yourself or get anywhere else, but simply to realize where you already are. ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
Paying attention can be a very difficult feat in a culture where we are taught to deny so much of our being. Finding ourselves again, though, is incredibly well worth the time and effort put into learning to do so.
Posts on Beyond Meds that explore the nature of meditation:
● The foundation of healing mental distress and of becoming a mature human adult – I’ve collected posts on this page that speak to embracing the full spectrum of our emotional inheritance as human beings. I’ve found that without acknowledging and integrating the darkest part of our psyches we cannot heal. We also cannot become fully mature adult human beings. One need not be labeled “mentally ill” or be sick for this to be an important part of our life’s work. Learning how to do this involves a lot of “paying attention.”
● Meditation, not all bliss and roses – A very common misunderstanding about meditation that can lead to discouragement is that it’s supposed to be all bliss and roses. That is simply not the case on the ground, so to speak. Sometimes meditation is about being with the dark and ugly and anxious parts of our being too. Meditation is about being with the whole spectrum of human psyche and emotion. We cannot know ourselves without becoming intimate with those parts too. That means it’s just not always fun or peaceful or calm to practice meditation. Though it can lead to all those things in time. It can help us learn to live more skillfully in general.
● Life as a meditation: my contemplative adventure – ”Formal” meditation — the kind where you set aside a specific time and sit on a cushion…I don’t do anymore and haven’t since I’ve been seriously ill. First it became impossible, but then I found another way of meditating deeply. What happened with my illness is that I learned that formal meditation is not always necessary for everyone, though I did start with more formal sitting years ago and it’s likely that it’s a good place to start, in general, if at all possible.
● How long should I stay with uncomfortable feelings?
● There is nothing unique about our suffering. (Tonglen, a compassion practice)
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