Saturday, January 09, 2010

David Michie - Meditation Practice as a River

Your Starter Kit for
Inner Peace and Better Health
by David Michie

Dharma Quote of the Week

I believe that constant effort, tireless effort, pursuing clear goals with sincere effort is the only way.
--the Dalai Lama

My teacher often likens meditation practice to a river flowing through our life. In the early stages, like a mountain spring, our practice is fleeting and undeveloped. There may be a fair few leaps and crashes before we settle into a more regular rhythm. Little by little our practice continues to grow and mature until eventually it becomes like a vast river, attracting everything else to it, no longer a small trickle in our life, but the most compelling force of it. The river may still encounter obstacles, but they are of little consequence. It will simply flow over or around them, having developed a smooth, calm, but unstoppable momentum.

It's a wonderful metaphor and an entirely appropriate one, judging from both my own personal experience as well as my observation of much more advanced meditators. The question is, How do we get from the Andes Mountains to the mouth of the Amazon? How do we develop our own meditation into a calm and steady flow of unstoppable power? "Through regular practice" is the simple, unspectacular answer. As much as we might wish for a short cut to the blissful state of a mind untroubled by anything it encounters, the reality is that such a mind arises only as a result of regular practice over a long period of time.

--from Hurry Up and Meditate: Your Starter Kit for Inner Peace and Better Health by David Michie, published by Snow Lion Publications

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