We have a natural, inherent, indestructible ability to know what arises and to respond appropriately to whatever happens internally or externally. The practice of cultivating awareness and compassion relies on this natural ability. Despite this natural simplicity, or perhaps because of it, there are several ways of straying from the essence and path of awareness. The moment we recognize how we've strayed, and trust our natural abilities, we've already returned.
Straying from the essence
Trying to make meditation a certain way. Having a little experience or insight of impermanence or emptiness, and then clinging to that experience. Or gaining a little conceptual understanding and believing the idea is the same as the experience.
Straying from the path
Anticipating the results of practice. Not seeing or trusting that what is needed is the path of awareness itself, we hope for some result in the future.
Straying from the remedy
Not trusting that experiencing whatever arises is the remedy, we try to "fix" what we experience. Whenever "disturbing" thoughts or emotions arise, we try to fix them or overcome them so that we can get back to meditating.
Straying into generalization
Dropping out of awareness by conceptualizing. We might start to use the idea "everything is empty" as a way of dismissing what arises. Or we start to believe that thinking about resting in awareness is the same as resting in awareness.
Click here for more on the ways we stray from practice.
Friday, December 10, 2010
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