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The mindful path encourages us to abide in the present moment, understanding that being pre-occupied with what could happen in the future and holding onto the past, is the cause for many issues arising in our mind and life.
We are offered a series of guided practices and instructions which point the way.
We can attend classes, retreats, workshops and seminars with experts who encourage us along the path. Buy books and listen to online guided meditations. We can download apps and engage with them every day, building up an online history, which we can share with the world.
There can be a curiosity and engagement with the new content that we are acquiring.
It can seem that being mindful is something, somewhere along the line, we can acquire. if we ‘plug away’ and carry on with our training.’
This can lead to a question, which sometimes arises in the live classes that I teach.
‘How long is this going to take me?’
It is a question that naturally arises, we want a time-frame, a beginning, middle and end.
There is a famous Zen story, where a practitioner is walking next to a strong flowing river and sees his teacher on the other side, he calls across to the teacher:
‘How can I get to that side of the river?’
Smiling the Zen master replies:
‘You already are on that side of the river.’
When we sit down to meditate there can be excessive force to try and acquire and create an experience.
What this Zen story helps us appreciate, is that we already are, where we desire to be.
When we sit, we sit. When we walk, we walk. When we talk, we talk. When we eat, we eat.
Instead of distracting ourselves away from the mundane and every day, we take advantage of it, empower our practice with attention, to what is happening right now.
We commit our self fully to each experience.
The practice of sitting meditation can help us understand this if we can adapt to the space skillfully.
If we push too hard with our meditations, then we will stay with frustration and tension and all the beneficial effects that can arise from sitting practice, will not come swiftly into our life.
Being mindful we take interest in turning up to this moment and then the next and the next.
As William Blake stated:
‘He who kisses the joy as it flies lives in eternities sunrise.’
Being open to what is arising in our inner and outer world, will help us to appreciate, this is actually one world we share with everyone.
What’s happening right now. This is it.
We already are where we want to be, it’s so close.
We can miss it, by busily rushing off, somewhere over the rainbow and trying to make ‘it’ happen.
Being fully present, we go deeper into our everyday world and find peace and contentment with who, where and what we are.
Realising what we are looking for is right under our nose, will bring great inner wealth to our life.
The article was written by Adam Dacey.
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