You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go. -Dr Seuss
Besides letting fear keep us off the cushion, I was taught of 3 other obstacles that we allow to sideline our practice. Here they are—
1. Forgetting the instruction
Basic meditation instruction is that when we realize we’ve been highjacked by runaway mind, we gently return awareness back to the present moment. I usually do this by coming back to sensations of breath or body first; you may have your own way to come back. But the instruction is always, When you’re lost, come back. When we’re lost in thoughts about a situation that seems very serious, puzzling, and complex, the answer is, Come back. When the mind is running after thoughts that are delicious and seductive, and we don't want to come back, the answer is Come back anyway.
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. -Dr. Seuss
Not only is the answer always Come back—it’s Come back without making a big deal out of thoughts, our practice, our life (too much elation). But make no mistake: the coming back is firm and definite; we do not wallow in runaway mind (too much laxity). Nor do we get too lax about what we consider a meditation practice—rationalize that the 30 minutes we were passively quiet while watching TV is equivalent to the 30 minutes we were actively silent while watching our mind. When we practice without making too big or too little a deal out of practicing, we cultivate the ability to see things as they actually are. And there’s so much to see.
You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut. -Dr. Seuss3. Laziness
|What Deb saw after retreat, fall 2013|
Keeping our lives so jam packed and then convincing ourselves that we can't possibly let anything go is the 3rd obstacle to meditation. It's not a stretch to understand that if we keep our lives extremely busy that our minds will be that way too. While we certainly get applause for doing-doing-doing, it is through the discipline of simply beinging that we bring a different energy to our efforts. Maybe when we care enough to honor the space and time that it takes to practice stillness and peace within ourselves, we can create a world that is still and peaceful too.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. -Dr Seuss