Jack Kornfield's book is about practicing mindfulness, which you can describe as having a caring and respectful attention. One big idea about meditation is that you can be very still in the midst of hectic activity.
Main ideas from the book:
1. You are not going to try to fulfill your desire, but you are going to sit and feel it and see its nature.
You will watch it arise, you will feel what it is like in your body, and you will name it.
Eventually it will pass away, and then you will see the next thing rise up.
You will begin to see desire’s impermanent nature, and you will also realize that you do not have to act on every thought or desire.
2. Whatever it is saying this time, it is always just the wanting mind.
3. Things like aversion, anger, or fear make us very judgmental, eventually pushing away our experiences.
All of these are states of resistance.
Judgment is a kind of aversion: “That is bad. You are doing it wrong.”
4. Thoughts do not last very long.
Thoughts come quickly. Thoughts generally last just a few seconds. Body sensations tend to be a little slower. Moods are in the middle.
5. How to deal with sound
When sounds arise and interrupt you - like a loud car or someone coughing - then you can note those as “hearing, hearing.” It is important not to create a story about whether they are good or bad noises
If it keeps coming back, it is often a signal that something wants to be felt or accepted. So if the thought keeps returning again and again, there is maybe a loss that needs to be acknowledged, or a love that wants to be accepted, or some creativity that wants to be recognized and honored in some way.
When we forgive others, we are able to release the past and start life anew. Without forgiveness, we are always left with “who did what to whom,” repeating the cycle.
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