On Meditation

Posted on October 5, 2010

“As the pace of our lives continues to be accelerated by a host of forces seemingly beyond our control, more and more of us are finding ourselves drawn to engage in meditation, in this radical act of being., this radical act of love, astonishing as that may seem given the materialistic ‘can do’, speed-obsessed, progress-obsessed, celebrity-and-other-people’s-lives-obsessed orientation of our culture. We are moving in the direction of meditative awareness for many reasons, not the least of which may be to maintain our sanity, to recover our perspective and sense of meaning, or simply to deal with the outrageous stress and insecurity of this age. By stopping and intentionally falling awake to how things are in this moment, purposefully, without succumbing to reaction or judgment and by working wisely with such occurrences, with a healthy dose of self-compassion when we do succumb, and by our willingness to take up residency for a time in the present moment in spite of all our plans and activities aimed at getting somewhere else, completing a project or pursuing desired objects or goals, we discover that such an act is both immensely, discouragingly difficult and yet utterly simple, profound, hugely possible after all, and restorative of mind and body, soul and spirit.

It is indeed a radical act of love just to sit down and be quiet for a time by yourself. Sitting down in this way is actually a way to take a stand in your life as it is right now, however it is. We take a stand here and now, by sitting down, and by sitting up. It is the challenge of this era to stay sane in an increasingly insane world.”

– Jon Kabat-Zinn from chapter “A Radical Act of Love” in his book “Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness”

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