Mostly “all right”

For instance, when we are walking down the street, we don’t notice very clearly what’s going around us.

If we were less distracted as we engage in mental activity, could we develop more clarity about how our mind operates?  

Question: Aren’t these questions more for philosophers than for the rest of us? We may not be able to justify our choices in any rigorous way, but we can still choose what we want to do. We may be wrong sometimes, but usually things turn out all right. 

I don’t think you can make that assumption.

In the first place, do things really turn out “all right” most of the time?

Are we being honest about how much suffering goes on in your own life, or in the lives of other people you know?  

Beyond that, it doesn’t seem smart to settle for things being mostly “all right”. 

Dimensions of Mind 

Can we question

For thousands of years, a question has plagued humanity: why does life have so many problems?

Must we continue to experience frustration and confusion?

Must we waste much of our lives in coping with emotional upheavals?

Since it has always been this way, we may think we have no choice: “That is the way it is,” we say.

But can we question if this really has to be?

Dimensions of Mind 

Contemplation

Contemplation is intended to free us from the pressures of self-image and obligations, from ego and emotions, and from the limitations and distortions that result from conceptualization.

The aim is to allow mind to rest on neutral ground, free from assumptions and associations that support self-oriented views. 

Revelations of Mind 

Freedom of choice

Right now you are that ripe potential goodness.

You need not hold back.

Open it up fully and celebrate: develop confidence and self-sufficiency.

You may worry that you don’t have this natural goodness, or that somehow you have lost it and that this is your fault.

But I say, you can have this precious understanding, you can be this goodness.

This is your freedom of choice.

You may ask: how do I do it?

When does it happen?

And I say: anytime, anyhow.

New Dimensions of Freedom

Simply ‘let go’

Mind or consciousness, is always relating to ‘me’—to a subjective point of view.

When we are meditating consciously, we feel that the instruction is coming to ‘me’ because ‘I’ am the meditator, or that ‘I’ the subject am within the meditation.

We have difficulty accepting the fact that the way to meditate is simply to ‘let go’ of all preconceptions and expectations and to ‘just be’.

Once we can do this, we will realize that meditation is simply living in the present and not being concerned with past memories or future expectations.

But we also need to be careful not to grasp at the present; we need to let go of any position, even the present position. 

Gesture of Balance

Language of the heart

The language of the heart is compelling and has meaning for all human beings.

It penetrates beneath the waves of self-deception, emotionality, and sentimentality to real depth of feeling.

It depends not on words and concepts, but on genuine sensitivity to universal needs and values. 

Knowledge of Freedom 

Chaotic whirl

When we don’t look too closely, our lives seem to have a certain structure and order.

We would say we are headed in directions that we have chosen for ourselves.

If circumstances are favorable, we may seem to be making progress.

But when we look more closely, we realize that our minds are mostly jumping here and there, pulled one way by our desires, pushed another way by our fears or our emotions.

We realize that we are constantly being thrown off balance.

It may be very confusing and disorienting, because things seem much more chaotic than we thought.

Our attempts to impose order are really just a story we tell ourselves.

And if we develop our ability to observe what is going on, the story may no longer be very convincing.

It seems more accurate to say that our lives are a chaotic whirl—even if that’s a story too. 

Dimensions of Mind

Restore our balance

When we remain quiet, mindful of breath in every moment, we can open a space between us and our thoughts,

We might think of ourselves as observers of an interesting drama, able to see the colors and textures of our thoughts as they unfold, without feeling any obligation to respond.

Relaxing our tendency to react to every thought and sensation helps to break the cycle of tensions.

If we develop a more spacious, less pressured way of relating to our feelings and thoughts, we can restore our balance more quickly after any disturbance. 

Knowledge of Freedom