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My Meditative Moments

Why Do We “Sit”?

by meditative - November 10th, 2014.
Filed under: Insights for Mindful Intelligence, Insights For Mindfulness Training.

As practitioners, we may have different motivations “to sit”. However, to sustain our practice, we need to clarify our intention… especially as “sitting” on a regular basis can offer both subtle and explicit challenges to our dedication and self-discipline. To overcome our difficulties in practice, our aspirations need to be honest, relevant, realistic, and purposeful. We need to align sitting with something we truly value in our lives. Is it simply learning to relax & de-stress… to attend & focus in the here & now… to manage our distracted mind… to regulate our emotional reactivity… to touch our deep inner longings or dis-satisfactions… to understand the nature of suffering- our own as well as in others… or to free ourselves and others from what causes us all dis-ease, distress, and suffering in our lives. Whatever the reason or reasons, we “sit” attentively, patiently, curiously, objectively, and purposefully… to come to notice… to come to realize… and to arrive within ourselves discerningly knowing.

Meditation practice can be a compassionate way to awakening, seeing, touching, relating, being, and letting go of ourselves… mentally, physically, sensually, and spiritually. It’s cultivating a quality of mind/heart and being- individually and interdependently with one another. It’s coming to know ourselves so that we may come to know and understand each other. The benefits to one become those shared collectively with many.

Initially and throughout our contemplative Way, we need to strongly temper our expectations & self-preoccupation for what sitting may deliver. What may seem to only be modest gains in relaxed awareness, concentration, patience, compassion, courage, openness, understanding, etc… can become the ‘seeds’ for real growth & maturity in our practice. However, we need to stay open-minded and realistic about our efforts and the results we may or may not realize. The way we practice and the practice itself needs to not only fit our daily lives, but who we are… otherwise, we may not experience the real benefits of meditation.

We may sit for instruction, insight, and understanding… but the real lessons learned in practice come from our own direct experience. We are all apprentices to understanding the reality before us. To come to know… we have to SHOW UP… ready & willing to be fully present- calm & energized- flexible & strong… whether it’s mind or body… and being or doing. The seed of our “knowing” is repetition no matter how boring or revelational the experience in our practice may be.

We sit so that we may better relate to the nature & dynamic of our own humanity… the mind- the body- the essence of what makes & drives the whole of our being. What may begin with one’s “self” has the inherent potential to continue to evolve and mature with clear, heartfelt intention into a selfless and compassionate Way to practice and live a more fulfilled life not only in the calling to ourselves but in the service to all other human beings.

The choice to sit is freely our own…

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