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Heart of Meditation

Lovely metaphors, in the essay "The Heart of Meditation" by Lama Surya Das:

Meditation, simply defined, is a way of being aware. It is the happy marriage of doing and being. It lifts the fog of our ordinary lives to reveal what is hidden; it loosens the knot of self-centeredness and opens the heart; it moves us beyond mere concepts to allow for a direct experience of reality. Meditation embodies the way of awakening: both the path and its fruition. From one point of view, it is the means to awakening; from another, it is awakening itself.

Meditation masters teach us how to be precisely present and focused on this one breath, the only breath; this moment, the only moment. Whether we're aware of it or not, we are quite naturally present to this moment—where else could we be? Meditation is simply a way of knowing this.

...

Like the archer straightening his arrow and perfecting his aim, the practitioner of meditation straightens out the mind while aiming his or her attentional energy at its object. Learning to drop what we're doing, however momentarily, and to genuinely pay attention in the present moment, without attachment or bias, helps us become clear, just as a snow globe becomes clear when we stop shaking it and its flakes settle.

(from the collection Commit to Sit of articles from "Tricycle" magazine; cf. Contemplative Zombie (2009-08-04), Without Effort, Analysis, or Expectation (2010-08-04), Quiet in There (2011-05-31), Ceaseless Society (2012-05-10), Notice and Return (2013-03-11), Mindfulness for Beginners (2013-07-18), ...) - ^z - 2016-01-22