The habits of mind we bring to mindfulness practice can have a profound effect on both the experience of the practice and the benefits we receive. One of the most common challenges is the question of how to work skillfully with the desire for change. Dissatisfaction can creep onto the mat or cushion in subtle ways, making the precious time we set aside for practice just another exercise in striving.
In any activity requiring skillful effort over time, there is a dynamic tension between goal-focused intention and the ability to be fully present in the activity of the moment. While the desire for change can motivate, it can also deflate, fostering a sense of “coming-up short” despite best efforts and intentions. A paradox of practice is that the only moment we can engage is this one, right here and now…Holding both the motivation for change and radical acceptance of the present moment in the open palm of awareness is a dance and a practice in itself.
Patience and Perseverance are foundations on the path of mindfulness that can help balance the desire for growth with acceptance of how things are. As ideas, these words can carry a lot of baggage, but in practice, they provide a path forward that honors both the capacity to dream and the direct opportunity that lies in each moment.
Cultivate your own presence in practice as we continue to explore the spaciousness of true patience, the stability to persevere and other attitudes that nourish mindful inquiry – a beautiful partnership of goals, grit and grace to sustain us through the plateaus and peaks of practice, on and off the mat.
© 2018 Centerpoint Network LLC