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Mindful Minute: The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation by Chogyam Trungpa

“Meditation is working with our speed, our restlessness, our constant busyness. Meditation provides space or ground in which restlessness might function, might have room to be restless, might relax by being restless. If we do not interfere with restlessness, then restlessness becomes part of the space. We do not control or attach the desire to catch our next tail.

Meditation practice is not a matter of trying to produce a hypnotic state of mind or create a sense of restfulness. Trying to achieve a restful state of mind reflects a mentality of poverty. Seeking a restful state of mind, one is on guard against restlessness. There is a constant sense of paranoia and limitation. We feel a need to be on guard against the sudden fits of passion or aggression which might take us over, make us lose control. This guarding process limits the scope of the mind by not accepting whatever comes.

Instead, meditation should reflect a mentality of richness in the sense of using everything that occurs in the state of mind. Thus, if we provide enough room for restlessness so that it might function within the space, then the energy ceases to be restless because it can trust itself fundamentally. Meditation is giving a huge, luscious meadow to a restless cow. The cow might be restless for a while in its huge meadow, but at some stage, because there is so much space, the restlessness becomes irrelevant. So the cow eats and eats and eats and relaxes and falls asleep.

Acknowledging restlessness, identifying with it, requires mindfulness, whereas providing a luscious meadow, a big space for the restless cow requires awareness. So mindfulness and awareness always complement each other…..”

The above excerpt is from a book called The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation by Chogyam Trungpa. As I read the words, I felt a sense of ease and spaciousness – almost as if I were the cow in the large pasture, letting go of my need to accomplish things quickly, allowing myself time and space. I have chosen to keep this image in mind as I return from months of travel and many “to do” items on my list.

I am curious to know what your response to these words might be. Please feel free to share your experience! I welcome your thoughts, feelings and insights.


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