The Mindfulness Blog

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Teach Your Students Well (And Learn From Them)!

In a meditation class I was leading recently, one of the students made the comment that (my words): "Inspirational slogans are easy to listen to, but practice is hard". Wake-up call (and a strong reminder) for me-- she nailed it!

Mental/emotional fitness isn't all that different than physical fitness. The gyms we workout in may be different, but results only accrue through consistent work, and a genuine commitment to improve-- commitment that rises to the level of habit, or second nature. When we get right down to it, fitness-- be it body, or mind-- is something we will ourselves to achieve-- it's something we earn, not something that is given to us.

On good days, when I'm feeling it and everything seems to come easily, I don't struggle with meditation-- it comes naturally, and observing my thoughts or noticing my emotions, just flow seamlessly. On bad days though, I do struggle. And that's when my commitment to practice regularly, really pays dividends. The effort to develop a "good habit" really and truly does serve me, because that's what enables me to sit a bit more comfortably with-- my discomfort.

Practice (they say), makes perfect. Well, I don't know about that, but I do know that practice makes it a heck of a lot easier to sit, and find silence on days when just sitting seems particularly hard to do-- simple, but not easy! And if you step back and think about it-- finding that space to respond skillfully, rather than react blindly-- it all makes sense.

Call it part of our regular workout. Call it a ritual. Call it a habit. Call it whatever you will, but a consistent meditation practice-- much like a consistent run or a consistent lift-- is the only way we can even begin to realize a lasting benefit. We have to do the work, and it ain't easy. And it is not convenient-- it's not just a click away.

So strap on whatever it is that supports you, sit/stand/kneel or lie down, for whatever length of time feels right, and get your meditation on. Membership fees are pretty much non-existent, but the rules of the road are pretty much the same-- commitment and consistency.

Make time, choose the place, and do it!


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