Sunday 10am Community Practice & Discussion
This Sunday Benjamin Hohl will lead an exploration of "Trusting the Practice is Working," based on “Chapter 4: How Mindfulness Works When It Doesn’t Work” of Gil Fronsdal’s The Issue at Hand (freely available here).
This theme feels particularly relevant in the midst of such collective and personal suffering. In difficult times like this, it can feel like our practice isn’t relevant or isn’t working. However, as we will explore on Sunday, as Gil writes, “the practice is working, even when it seems not to be working.”
Below is an excerpt from The Issue at Hand:
Sometimes your attempt to be with the breath is the only way that you see the speed at which the mind is racing. Riding on a train, if you focus on the mountains in the distance, you might not notice the speed of the train. However, if you bring your attention closer, the rapidly appearing and disappearing telephone poles next to the tracks reveal the train’s speed. Even when you have trouble staying with the breath, your continued effort to come back to the breath can highlight what might otherwise be unnoticed, i.e., the rapid momentum of the mind. In fact, the faster our thinking and the greater the preoccupation, the greater the need for something close by like the breath to help bring an awareness of what is going on. That awareness, in turn, often brings some freedom from the preoccupation.
When staying with the breath during meditation is difficult, we can easily get discouraged. However, that difficulty is an opportunity to become more aware of the forces of mind and the feelings causing the distractions. Remember, if we learn from what is going on, regardless of what is happening, the practice is working, even when it seems not to be working, when we aren’t able to stay with the breath.
Please join us for this exploration! All meditation experience levels and welcome. Registration and Zoom information available here.