Friday, September 12, 2008

Allowing spontaneous release

When you meditate regularly, you start to notice that thoughts and feelings that have accumulated inside you naturally dissipate like mist rising from the surface of a lake. You don’t have to do anything special to make this happen —it just occurs naturally as your concentration deepens and your mind settles down. You may sit to meditate feeling weighted down by worries or concerns and then get up half an hour later feeling somehow lighter, more spacious, and more worry-free.

Who knows how this mysterious process happens? You might say that meditating is like lifting the lid on a boiling pot of soup — you create space for the water to evaporate and relieve the pressure that has been building up inside. To encourage this process of spontaneous release, you can practice meditation techniques that involve receptive awareness — open, spacious awareness that welcomes whatever arises. (You’ll need to develop your concentration first.) When your mind’s not fixated on a particular object — be it a thought, a memory, or an emotion — but expansive and unattached like the sky, you’re no longer investing energy in your drama, but rather inviting whatever’s churning inside you to unfold and let go.

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