Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Patience is essential

I want to share with you another excerpt from Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. In this passage he exposes and corrects another common misconception about meditation:
Misconception 11: A couple of weeks of meditation and all my problems will go away.

Sorry, meditation is not a quick cure-all. You will start seeing changes right away, but really profound effects are years down the line. That is just the way the universe is constructed. Nothing worthwhile is achieved overnight. Meditation is tough in some respects, requiring a long discipline and a sometimes painful process of practice. At each sitting you gain some results, but they are often very subtle. They occur deep within the mind, and only manifest much later. And if you are sitting there constantly looking for huge, instantaneous changes, you will miss the subtle shifts altogether. You will get discouraged, give up, and swear that no such changes could ever occur. Patience is the key. Patience. If you learn nothing else from meditation, you will learn patience. Patience is essential for any profound change.

I'm so glad I didn't give up early in the game. Sure it's taken years for profound effects to manifest. But the years have actually gone by fairly quickly. And they will for you too. Don't give up. This is a sure bet. Meditate regularly and you will benefit. And the years will still go by whether you meditate or not. So why not meditate and improve your quality of life along the way?

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