Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Turning inward

One of my favorite slogans from the Seven Points of Mind-Training is this one: "Liberate yourself by examining and investigating." Jon Kabat-Zinn, in Wherever You Go There You Are, offers an exercise consistent with that teaching to be used when things aren't going just right or when we're not feeling just right. Here it is:

The next time you feel a sense of dissatisfaction, of something being missing or not quite right, turn inward just as an experiment. See if you can capture the energy of that very moment. Instead of picking up a magazine or going to the movies, calling a friend or looking for something to eat or acting up in one way or another, make a place for yourself. Sit down and enter into your breathing, if only for a few minutes. Don't look for anything - neither flowers nor light nor a beautiful view. Don't extol the virtues of anything or condemn the inadequacy of anything. Don't even think to yourself, "I am going inward now." Just sit. Reside at the center of the world. Let things be as they are.

This is a very powerful practice in acceptance. I recommend it highly.

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