Monday, February 28, 2011

Welcoming whatever arises

When you become accustomed to including sensations, thoughts, and feelings in your meditation, you can open your awareness gates wide and welcome whatever arises, without judgment or resistance. Imagine that your mind is like the sky, and inner and outer experiences come and go like clouds. At first, you may find your attention drawn here and there, exploring one object and then another. You don’t have to control your attention in any way; just allow it to wander where it will, from thoughts to sensations to feelings and back again.
Eventually, you may have periods in your meditation when your mind feels spacious and expanded and doesn’t seem to be disturbed by thoughts, feelings, or outside distractions. Whatever you experience, just keep opening your awareness and welcoming whatever comes. A note of caution, however: This practice, though supremely simple, is actually quite advanced and requires well-developed powers of concentration to sustain. It’s also difficult to teach — rather like riding a bicycle. First, you have to discover what it feels like to hold your balance; then you just keep returning to the balance point whenever you start to fall off.

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