- Thomas Bien
Buddhist meditation has two main aspects: stopping (samatha), which can also be translated as calming, and looking deeply (vipassana). In reality, these are two aspects of the same reality, as inseperable as two sides of a coin. Once we have stopped and are sufficiently calm, we can also and at the same time see more clearly and deeply.
It is a pleasure to stop and just take a few mindful breaths, allowing body and mind to rest and heal, letting go of all your worries and projects. Regrettably, we sometimes turn meditation into another project, another thing on the already too long list of stuff we have to do. This is not a helpful attitude. Meditation is something to enjoy, not something to create more struggle in life. Approach your meditation, even if it is just to stop during the day for a few breaths, with a sense of ease and enjoyment. “Now I get to do nothing. In these moments, I don’t have to be anywhere else. I don’t have to be doing or struggling. All I need do is be fully present to my in breath, feeling wonderful and letting all else fend for itself right now, and to my out breath, feeling wonderful and letting all else fend for itself right now.
If you follow this blog, you might like to make this a practice between now and the next time I write. Pause frequently during the day to simply enjoy a few mindful breaths. This will be a great help to you and your well-being, as well as a gift to the world at the same time.
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