Many of us think of Buddhism and other meditative approaches to life as very passive. Sitting. However, I as I learn more about the topic, I’m struck by the discipline involved with learning to meditate and making it a regular part of their lives. Meditation seems to be like so many other things that are good for us; the gap between ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’ can be enormous. How do we make space to close the gap?
“The thing about meditation is…you become more and more you.” ~David Lynch
Running shoe commercials that urge us to ‘just do it’ have nothing on people who sit, motionless and silent, for a set period every single day. I like the contrast between urgency and committed action. I suspect that the ad budget in question is aimed at those of us who struggle with our commitment to exercise and not the spectacular athletes featured in the media. Do you ever wonder about their journey? What did it take to become who and what they are? I often wonder about both their physical and mental training and how the two fit together.
“Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak.”Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
As different as they may seem on the surface Buddhism and “success psychology” share a lot. Take these words from noted Buddhist teacher John Daido Loori:
The only limits that exist are the ones we set for ourselves. Take off the blinders, release the chain, push down the walls of the cage and advance a step forward. When you’ve taken that step, acknowledge it, let it go, and advance another step. And when you finally arrive at enlightenment, acknowledge it, let it go and take a step forward.”
If I’d given you that quote without background would you think it belonged to one of our country’s great Buddhist teachers? Or would you attribute it to your favorite motivational speaker or writer?
So often personal aspirations and goal-setting focus on the things we need to do. But perhaps it is the journey that matters most. Maybe there’s more real transformation from changes that help us “become” rather than the ones that we “do.”
I’d love to hear about your meditation experience or something you do that has helped you “become more you.” (Just click the comments link below to join the conversation.)