Since childhood, our minds are programmed to think in terms of opposites like hot and cold, light and dark. Meditation erodes some of that programming such that values are nuanced and recognized as within a spectrum of totality. Light is more luminous than dark but dark provides fertility, for example.
Vulnerability and strength are two qualities that, when lived together, support the wholeness and integrity of a human being. Vulnerability acknowledges that we are vulnerable, mortal, easily up-ended, and are essentially emotional and soft inside. Emotions provide wonder, happiness, caring; they are the underpinning of us, of how we relate to one another and life in general, and gravitate toward that which benefits us. To live from these truths allows one to discover one’s inner being because everything else is temporary, is costuming, is show. There lies true strength: the strength of character, of virtue, of self-less-ness, and authenticity.
Strength is lived forcefully is just pushing. It is aggression. When strength comes from within, from the soft, the vulnerable, from the integrity of ourselves as mortal, changing, learning beings, then that strength is sought out by others. That strength is supple and warm and as strong as the sky or sea which nothing can conquer.
We meditate for silently after the verbal preamble.
Esoterically, words of power are invocative, empowering, stabilizing, and revelatory. Words of power can be in the form of affirmation, enunciation, mantra, or a specific prayer or praise. The key with words of power is to engage their simple truth as power as well as to trust thus live by them.
You can join us live on Tuesday, Thursday, and/or Saturday at 9 am ET with this link. Come a few minutes early and settle.
Snow requires no effort of the sky. It coalesces and falls. On the other hand, we effort ceaselessly. In one regard, how human beings strive, push, effort, and do is a primary bane. In meditation practice, one efforts, aspires, and applies a technique along with due diligence, patience, and acceptance each time one sits or does a walking practice. We do so in order to experience all of the above because becoming of aware is the purpose of meditation.
Today’s sitting is a release, like the snow from the sky, like the warmth within sunshine, like breath releasing into the world.
The passing of one year into the next has provided contemplation for people for a long time. Before calendars, that contemplation was sparked by the changing seasons, the solstices, full and new moons, births and deaths. As human beings cultivating ongoing awareness and presence, we have the opportunity to contemplate passing, release, change, and impermanence each moment. How auspicious that Release coincides with New Year’s Day and its potential contemplations!
Soften, Open, Release is step 5 in The Practice of Living Awareness. The key understanding and application of steps 4 and 5 is the serenity of truth and the simplicity of truth of moment. Softening and opening provides life, flow, unfolding, and empowerment. Consider the softness of the sky or the space in your room. Nothing is stronger or can overtake that softness. To be open is to be like a tree: alive, vibrant, giving freely, and simply being what one is with no pretense, posturing, or affect. Softening and opening as one’s in-the-moment attitude cultivates authenticity, reliability, inventiveness or creativity, and simplicity. These are aspects of wisdom.
Authenticity does not look over its shoulder, has no boomerang to fear, is comfortable with learning, with not knowing, and has humility about what one does know. Reliability engenders no regrets, no self-judgement, and no second guessing of one’s self. Inventiveness is creative and creativity is inventive whether cooking a meal, interacting with a person, or navigating life’s circumstances. Simplicity is recognizable in all of these.
Release contains that character of simplicity. This is in addition to the simplifying that might result from release. Release is serene because it is part of the natural flow of existence. Rivers flow, seasons change, a day comes and goes, and we do too. Consternation around release derives from preferences. Preferences are temporary truths. Proof of this is that as a child we cherished a toy or favorite story but that now is left behind.
Celebration is key to release, simplicity, wisdom, authenticity, and more. We can celebrate the fact that as human beings we have choice and choose release. Check in with the feeling of constraint and hold it along side the feeling of letting go. A similar experience will be had with the feelings of holding on and the status quo of attachment. But, the liberation of laying aside, of no longer holding, no longer feeling like something is needed bring the feeling of flow and a breath of release.
Exalt release as an action born of the options. Then take celebration and release to the meditation cushion and into daily life.