Monday, September 29, 2014

Contemplative Monday

The following quote is from 'Heart Advice, Weekly Quotes from Pema Chodron'.


"The primary focus of this path of choosing wisely, of this training to deescalate aggression,
is learning to stay present.

Pausing very briefly, frequently throughout the day, is an almost effortless way to do this.

For just a few seconds we can be right here.

Meditation is another way to train in learning to stay, or, as one student put it more accurately,
learning to come back, to return to being present over and over again.

The truth is, anyone who's ever tried meditation learns very quickly that we are almost 
never fully present. 

I remember when I was first given meditation instruction. It sounds so simple:
Just sit down, get comfortable, and bring light awareness to your breath.

I thought, "This will be easy." Then someone hit a gong to begin and I tried it.
What I found was that I wasn't present with a single breath until they hit the gong again
to end the session. I had spent the whole time lost in thought.

Back then I believed this was because of some failing of mine, and that if I stuck
with meditation, soon I'd be perfect at it, attending to each and every breath.

Maybe occasionally I'd be distracted by something, but mostly I would just stay present.

Now it's about thirty years later. Sometimes my mind is busy. Sometimes it's still.
Sometimes the energy is agitated. Sometimes calm.

All kinds of things happen when we mediate----everything from thoughts
to shortness of breath to visual images, from physical discomfort 
to mental distress to peak experiences.

All of that happens, and the basic attitude is, "No big deal." 
The key point is that, through it all, we train in being open
and receptive to whatever arises."


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Also do you mind if I take one the ocean photo for my background? I promise I will never use it for anything....:)

  3. Super pictures of the waves.
    I don't fully understand the true meaning of meditation.
    To lose one's self in thought?
    To gaze at something and see nothing but that something?
    To think and really not think of anything?

    1. Part of the purpose Sharon is to just sit still and deal/recognize/notice what kind of thoughts are going through your mind while you are still/sitting. It gives one an idea of what we get preoccupied with in our heads.....all those thoughts tumbling around and around.
      We have to have thoughts because that is what we humans do and need. But we also need to give our mind.body a chance to rest as well. And while we are doing that we can learn to focus on the 'present' and what better thing to focus on than the breath (which we need to live!!!). Breathing in, breathing out. Some people 'meditate'/focus on the present while they are walking....really noticing what each foot is doing as it lands on the solid earth. I personally like and prefer this method.

      Most people meditate (and not just Buddhists) to get to know themselves and 'take a break' from the hectic world we live in and to understand themselves a bit better and just maybe correct a few 'patterns' that occur over and over again which results in frustration/anger/pain.

  4. Staying present is a challenge for me as I tend to fret and worry. I'll give pausing a real try.

  5. Just staring at these beautiful images and imagining the sound of the waves rolling in.

  6. Always such great advice. A new yoga/meditation studio just opened a block away from us. I plan to pay them a visit!

  7. Your wave photos were so compelling, Jim, that I couldn't focus on PC's words at all. My second most terrifying memories of childhood nightmares (well, even today) are of big tidal waves ~ first: horses. Lorraine R's first remark really hit home. I'm going to have to keep give pausing and meditating a try ~ again! I really do appreciate your Monday PC posts! *Hugs* to you, Ron, and SD.

  8. If I had such a view,
    I might have no difficulty meditating.
    That is one of my problems,
    visual distractions are too easy for me.
    Splendid pictures, btw...


Hey, I really like your comments and appreciate the time you took to do so.

Related Posts with Thumbnails