"When understood, the Buddha’s universe..is anything but alien and inhibiting. It is a world full of hope, where everything we need to do can be done and everything that matters is within human reach. It is a world where kindness, unselfishness, non-violence, and compassion achieve what self-interest and arrogance cannot. It is a world where any human can be happy in goodness and the fullness of giving." ❦ Eknath Easwara

March 5, 2012

Learning How to Fall in Meditation

"A frequent question is: How can you tell if you’re making progress in your meditation? And one of the answers is: When the mind slips off its object, you get faster and faster at bringing it back. Notice, the answer isn’t: The mind doesn’t slip off at all. It’s: You’re expected to slip off; it’s a normal part of the practice, a normal part of the training. The point lies in being more alert to what’s going on and quicker to remedy the situation when you’ve slipped off the breath.

So an important part of learning how to meditate is learning how to fall. They say that when you start learning Aikido, the first thing they teach is how to fall without hurting yourself. The purpose is that it makes you less and less afraid to fall, less and less damaged, of course, by the fall, and also less likely to fall, more willing to take chances.

So the trick when you meditate is learning how to bring the mind back with a minimum amount of recrimination, a minimum amount of self-criticism, with just the simple observation, “I haven’t come here to think about next week’s schedule or last night’s fiascoes or whatever. I’m here to focus on the breath.” Simply leave those other things and come back. Learn how to do it without tying your mind up in knots..."

Thanissaro Bhikkhu from "How to Fall"

Full talk here:
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