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Monday Morning Zen

There is no ideal meditation. Mindfulness meditation helps you be aware of your actual experience as it is, moment by moment. Your thoughts seem solid and they have a sticky quality that constantly demands your attention. If you think meditation is about getting rid of these busy thoughts, then it becomes too heavy handed. They will either conquer you or you'll give in to them in defeat.

So don't turn your meditation into a further struggle and war with yourself. Relax and begin to notice how your thoughts arise; how they come and go. You can't really pin them down. Awareness helps you to appreciate the greater environment in which your thoughts and emotions arise. If they are angry and irritated, they arise in a space of aggression. If they are full of craving and desire they arise in an environment of seduction. If they are bewildered, confused and spaced-out, they arise in a space of chaos.

Meditation is how you begin to make friends with yourself. When you are able to be more compassionate towards yourself, then your thoughts and feelings don't take you over. You find an awareness that connects you to your world and allows you to be one with whatever activity in which you are engaged. 

 

Roshi Robert Joshin Althouse

 

 

 

Robert Althouse

Zen Life & Meditation Center, Chicago, 38 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL, 60302