I spend a lot of time thinking.. We all do. One of the things I think about the most often when I am contemplating writing or speaking to people is how to help people work through the barriers that keep us from getting still and really getting into a practice of meditation. I can share article after article that heralds the health and life benefits we can get from it and yet.. many of us struggle with actually getting there and doing it. Yet, when we do, we feel more alive, more awake..
One barrier that is seldom talked about (it's almost like the evil step child) is that once we are alone with ourselves - we are alone with our mind. We are alone with all the ick that runs through our heads all the time. Every issue in our life easily drifts in and when we are alone there is no ignoring it, no pretending like it isn't there, and it is LOUD. And, who wants to think about all that needs 'fixing' in our lives when we're supposed to be getting calm and still and healthy? The thing is, that often these loud voices, these relentless stories that run through our minds are often the things we most need to pay attention to - whether it is re-framing a story, working through trauma, or seeing some painful truths in ones life. It takes courage - an immense amount of courage to sit with one's mind. The more we do it though the less of a hold it has on us and how to deal with it becomes much clearer.
I was taught by my folks that most things worth doing requires some work and some willingness. Work and willingness require COURAGE. Maya Angelo says 'Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you cannot practice any other virtue consistently.' She couldn't be more right.
This is an article from Jack Kornfield: Mindfulness as Fearless Presence is rich in speaking to walking the edge with fear in our meditation practices.
Be brave my friends and be transformed.