Mindfulness In Plain English – Henepola Gunaratana – Attitude toward meditation

Extracts from Chapter Four:

Don’t expect anything. Just sit back and see what happens. Treat the whole thing as an experiment. … Meditative awareness seeks to see reality exactly as it is.

Don’t strain: Don’t force anything or make grand exaggerated efforts. Meditation is not aggressive. There is no violent striving. Just let your effort be relaxed and steady.

Don’t rush: There is no hurry, so take you time. Settle yourself on a cushion and sit as though you have a whole day.

Don’t cling to anything and don’t reject anything: Let come what comes and accommodate yourself to that, whatever it is. If good mental images arise, that is fine. If bad mental images arise, that is fine, too.

Let go: Learn to flow with all the changes that come up. Loosen up and relax.

Accept everything that arises: Accept your feelings, even the ones you wish you did not have.

Be gentle with yourself: Be kind to yourself. You may not be perfect, but you are all you’ve got to work with.

Investigate yourself: Question everything. Take nothing for granted. Don’t believe anything because it sounds wise and pious and some holy men said it. See for yourself. That does not mean that you should be cynical, impudent or irreverent. It means you should be empirical. … The entire practice hinges upon the desire to be awake to the truth. Without it, the practice is superficial.

View all problems as challenges: Look upon negatives that arise as opportunities to learn and to grow

Don’t ponder: You don’t need to figure everything out. Discursive thinking won’t free you from the trap. In mediation, the mind is purified naturally by mindfulness, by wordless bare attention. … Don’t think. See.

Don’t dwell upon contrasts: Differences do exist between people, but dwelling upon then is a dangerous process. Unless carefully handled, it leads directly to egotism.




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