Sunday, January 08, 2006

The importance of practice

Here's another passage from Coming to Our Senses by Jon Kabat-Zinn:
If mindfulness is an innate quality of mind, it is also one that can be refined through systematic practice. And for most of us, it has to be refined through practice. We have already noted how out of shape we tend to be when it comes to exercising our innate capacity to pay attention. And that is what meditation is all about... the systematic and intentional cultivation of mindful presence, and through it, of wisdom, compassion, and other qualities of mind and heart conducive to breaking free from the fetters of our own persistent blindness and delusions.

And that's why we do it, isn't it? To break free, to be free. There is no prison like the prison of ignorance. Without mindfulness we cannot see what is as it is and so it is inevitable that we will be blind. But with a meditation practice firmly in place we have the means for getting out of that prison and for seeing clearly again.

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