365 Challenge Day 12 – Meditation

27 May

I am at a crossroads with my meditation practice and spiritual practice, and I have no idea which direction it will take.  But at least I’ve gotten to a point where I feel more comfortable with the uncertainty of it all, and can wait and see how the mystery unfolds.

I have a meditation group I lead once a week at my office.  Sitting there for 3o minutes today with several of my co-workers, I was really struck by the sense of peace I am able to access in silent meditation.  When I close my eyes and focus my attention, I am able to access a sense of present awareness, there is an aliveness, a vibrancy, and a sense of peace and well-being, and a feeling of connection to something greater.  It is really quite wonderful and it’s immediately available to me every time I look for it.  (I’m not saying I stay there for long!  I often lose it the second a thought comes along, but then find it again immediately when I look.)  I still do silent meditation fairly regularly, not every day, but several times a week.  Sometimes formally (on a meditation cushion) and sometimes in informal ways, like when I’m falling asleep at night, or waiting somewhere.

I have loads of personal and literary data that shows the enormous benefits of silent meditation.  A really good book that talks about the benefits is The Buddha’s Brain, by Rick Hanson.

Buddha's Brain

And yet, despite all this, I am filled with more doubts about the practice than ever before.  I question the need to sit quietly in order to practice.  I believe that this sense of connected, abiding presence should be available to us all the time, not just in certain perfect conditions.  I know that the silent practice has given me tools that allow me to engage in the world in a better way. But now I feel like I need to bring my practice to a new level, a level of being engaged in the world again, not removed from it.

I don’t have the answers yet, just questions…

 

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