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August 4th, 2019
A common misconception about meditative practice is that one concentrates on a sense of calm and peace. It’s all a bit froo-froo from the sounds of it.
Many people who look as though they practice meditation also believe this is what it’s about.
If anything, a sense of calm equanimity is a by-product, not the actual product of a meditative practice.
Think of a cashier, manning a till all day. During the whole shift there is a constant line of people waiting to be dealt with, holding items for purchase, wanting to pay. All day, the cashier rings in items and takes payment, and all day, when each person is finished paying, they go in a loop and get back in line. And it never ends.
For many people this is the mental status quo: just a constant, never-ending stream of looping thoughts.
A meditative practice eventually enables a person to get to the end of a shift, giving each thought it’s due and letting it go.
Think of that cashier again, closing up shop, going home , flopping down on the couch and finally breathing a sigh of relief. That relaxing calmness is a by product of a day well worked and over, it’s not the direct result of such work.
So too is the case for a meditative practice that is starting to work. A person can finally get relief from thoughts that have hither-to been never ending.
Meditation becomes, first, a workshop where each of us can build and tinker with a release valve for the mind.
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