Simple But Not Easy: The Right Effort of Beginning Again
Weekly Column By Sharon Salzberg for On Being Blog
Published October 26th, 2015
Many people, myself included, come to meditation with an initial expectation of immediate clarity and peace. We anticipate nirvana, filled with white light and an overwhelming sense of freedom. Contrary to these beliefs, meditation takes effort, a word most of us associate with burden. But the effort we make in meditation is not harsh and fueled by feelings of self-loathing or pressure. It’s an unrestrained willingness to “stick it out,” to recognize our ability to feel a sense of freedom through the act of accepting what is.
It takes effort to train ourselves to meet joy and sorrow alike with our full attention, kindness, and love — especially when we tend to judge our experiences with assumptions and distorting patterns of thought. But making that effort is not compulsory. It is our choice, a simple choice. And accepting that it may not be the easiest one is the first step in the practice of surrender.
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About On Being with Krista Tippett
On Being is a Peabody Award-winning public radio conversation and podcast, a Webby Award-winning website and online exploration, a publisher and public event convener. On Being opens up the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live? On Being airs on more than 330 public radio stations across the U.S., distributed by American Public Media. The podcast reaches a global audience via SoundCloud.
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