Touch and Go

From Pema Chödrön's The Places That Scare You, near the end of Chapter 4 ("Learning to Stay"), a lovely metaphor that brings to mind the practice in aviation of "touch and go" — where a pilot-in-training brings a plane down to land but then immediately takes off again:

Attention to the present moment. Another factor we cultivate in the transformative process of meditation is attention to this very moment. We make the choice, moment by moment, to be fully here. Attending to our present-moment mind and body is a way of being tender toward self, toward other, and toward the world. This quality of attention is inherent in our ability to love.

Coming back to the present moment takes some effort, but the effort is very light. The instruction is to "touch and go." We touch thoughts by acknowledging them as thinking and then we let them go. It's a way of relaxing our struggle, like touching a bubble with a feather. It's a nonaggressive approach to being here.

^z - 2015-01-22