Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Stop looking for improvements

Open awareness is what happens when you stop looking for improvements. "Being present" is the natural state when you stop thinking about the prospect of a better tomorrow.

People who meditate often get wrapped up in ideas about "mindfulness", the promise of a better life. We're too busy looking forward to the pay-off, some future enlightenment, to live in the present moment. If you get a group of meditators together to talk about "the present moment" you'll find they want to talk about anything but this present moment. They might discuss meditation techniques or philosophical theories. They might relate experiences they remember from the past (or read about in books). They can talk about "the present moment" as an abstract concept, but it's very hard to get them to say anything about this actual present moment that they're experiencing right now.

Theories and philosophies and memories are attractive because we think they will lead us to understanding. We believe they will help us solve the great riddle, and unlock a better world for us... a future enlightenment. But the thing is, this present moment isn't in the future.

Awareness, mindfulness, whatever you call it, isn't a riddle to be solved. It isn't a skill to be mastered. It isn't something we need theories to explain. It simply is, and to experience it in its radical openness, you just need to stop grasping about for some better alternative to what is happening right now.


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There will be a meditation morning in Ranelagh Saturday week 29 July (10am to 1pm). All are welcome. Monday evening meditation (8pm) continues throughout the summer.