Ancient Buddhists recognized the power of community early on. They even named the sangha — which is a Sanskrit word for “community” — as one of what they call the three gems of Buddhism. They valued the sangha so highly because they recognized that we all sometimes get stuck in the mud so to speak in our individual practice.
As we’ve explored on this blog and on Mindfulness+, there are many ways to practice mindfulness. But there’s one practice in particular that I might call the practice of practices. And that’s the still point practice. When we're in the still point — when we're resting in a quality of open spaciousness, pure potential — our lives become intuitive. We can be receptive to exactly what the moment calls for.
What’s so potent about a mindfulness practice is that when we bring our awareness to seeing, hearing, and feeling we start to realize that these things constitute the building blocks of our human experience. And when we're fully aware of that experience, we can enjoy a degree of freedom from the Matrix.
Whenever I teach mindfulness, I see a recurring scenario with a lot of students. They're busy people, and it's difficult to free up a few minutes a day to meditate. They'll do it, but it's difficult and feels like a sacrifice.
That’s completely understandable. We already do so much in life, and now we have to figure out how to cram one more thing — a mindfulness practice — into our day?
Have you ever been grumpy with someone only to realize later that hunger or lack sleep played a role in your negative mood?
Vipassana meditation (also known as mindfulness) can help you become more discerning in such scenarios, helping you see how to prevent these moments from ruining your day.
This post illustrates what a vipassana practice looks like.