There are certain themes that reoccur (not just recently – but over long periods of my life):
One theme is the unfamiliar perspective of non-judgement – “not already knowing” the answer – when something is presented to me.
One is about being a compassionate and kind container to hold uncomfortable thoughts and emotions as they arise.
One is how I touch the Witness behind the ego – the greater self who watches the “John” as he plays at life.
Yeah, these replay themselves a lot in my life.
I like how Jack writes about these things – enjoy . . .
“Mindfulness is a directed attention to what is actually here before we have all our judgments and ideas about what is right and wrong and what is good and bad. Mindfulness means paying attention and seeing things clearly without reaction.
From there we can respond in wise ways rather than be caught in our habitual patterns.”When we take the one seat on our meditation cushion we become our own monastery. We create the compassionate space that allows for the arising of all things: sorrows, loneliness, shame, desire, regret, frustration, happiness.
Spiritual transformation is a profound process that doesn’t happen by accident. We need a repeated discipline, a genuine training, in order to let go of our old habits of mind and to find and sustain a new way of seeing.
To mature on the spiritual path we need to commit ourselves in a systematic way. My teacher Achaan Chah described this commitment as “taking the one seat.” He said,”Just go into the room and put one chair in the center. Take the seat in the center of the room, open the doors and the windows and see who comes to visit. You will witness all kinds of scenes and actors, all kinds of temptations and stories, everything imaginable. Your only job is to stay in your seat. You will see it all arise and pass, and out of this, wisdom and understanding will come.”
–Jack Kornfield, A Path with Heart