Day 4 of 30: A Lifelong Practice
Like a soccer player sprinting to maintain cardiovascular health or a concert pianist doing scales daily to maintain dexterity, practices to develop the skill of concentration are ones that are repeated on a regular daily basis. A skilled soccer player does not stop sprinting once she has attained that level of proficiency. Her cardiovascular health remains a foundation skill enabling the quality of her play. The proficient pianist returns to her scales because it readies her fingers to play the challenging concerto.
You pause to meditate every day because it readies you for the situations in your life. Meditation is not an end in itself. It is important not to confuse “the practice” with “a goal.”
Concentration practices become a part of your repertoire of being a human and caring for your mind. My experience personally and coaching others is that choosing to continue to invest in this simple (but not easy) practice will pay gradual dividends (and sometimes major shifts) in how show up in the world.
I am sharing these thoughts with you now as an orientation that (a) your practice never ends, but it grows and deepens over time, and (b) your practice is not a goal but a journey to a new way of being.
I invite you to read the quote from Jon Kabat-Zinn in the box towards the bottom of this post. Do the preparations so you are ready when you need them. I’m imagining jumping out of a plane and then thinking “I wonder if I packed my parachute correctly.” In life, meditation practices are an essential part of what you can do to be ready for those challenging times, especially those times of upset in relationships where what will serve you and the world is an awareness of the upset you are experiencing, self-compassion, and a capacity to place your attention on a curiosity for the experience of the other person.
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See you tomorrow!
“Make sure you weave your parachute every day, rather than leave it to the time you have to jump out of the plane.”
Periodically it will be helpful to turn to a reminder of why are you choosing to invest in meditation. Here is a partial list of benefits…