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Obstacles to Practice

18 Oct 2018 7:30 AM | Michael Kelberer (Administrator)

Here are some thoughts from Karen Maezen Miller, reflecting on the myriad reasons she can find to not take the time to practice:

"There are no barriers to practice, no obstacles or wrong turns. So why do we keep finding them? Ironically, that's what mediation is: sitting down and seeing just how much we tumble in the crosscurrents of our likes and dislikes, desires and judgments, worries and doubt, and (this is the important part) staying put and meditating until the bell rings

"Perceived obstacles don't just prevent people from beginning a meditation practice; they can derail seasoned sitters. After practicing for a while, we develop expectations and attachments. ... This is when doubts begin to sidetrack a practitioner. Am i doing it right?It doesn't seem to be working for me.. Is there something more to it? This hasn't really improved my life the way I hoped it would.

"Sound familiar?

"It takes faith to keep going when you are spinning in a swirl of doubt – faith in yourself. Otherwise practice is likely to become one of a long list of things in life that you start with eager optimism and discard in cynicism and despair...

"In the meantime, all the fits and starts, highs and lows, are just part of the path.

"There is no path other than the one you're on. Let's settle down right where we are and see it straight on."

From Just Get Out of Your Own Way by Karen Maezen Miller, Lion's Roar, November 2018


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