Expecting Buddhist practice to entail only joy and ease is naive. More realistic is to expect both joy and sorrow, ease and struggle. If the practice is to engage with our full life, then inevitably we will practice in times of crisis, loss, or painful self-confrontation.
Through effort, attention,
Restraint and self-control,
The wise person can become an island
No flood will overwhelm. (Dhammapada 25)
...the practice of mindfulness is a reference point for noticing aspects of our lives that we may have missed.
Mindfulness relies on an important characteristic of awareness: awareness by itself does not judge, resist, or cling to anything. By focusing on simply being aware, we learn to disentangle ourselves from our habitual reactions and begin to have a friendlier and more compassionate relationship with our experience, with ourselves, and with others.
Mindfulness practice does not involve trying to change who we are, instead it is a practice of seeing clearly who we are, of seeing what is happening as it unfolds, without interference.
The word Vipassana literally means, “clear-seeing.” Cultivating our capacity to see clearly is the foundation for learning how to be present for things as they are, as they arise. It is learning to see without the filters of bias, judgment, projection, or emotional reactions. It also entails developing the trust and inner strength that allow us to be with things as they are instead of how we wish they could be.
At the heart of insight meditation is the practice of mindfulness, the cultivation of clear, stable and nonjudgmental awareness.
Buddhist practice is concerned with discovering what is truest for each of us in our own hearts and bodies rather than what tradition, scriptures or teachers may tell us is true.
By teaching practices instead of “truths,” the Buddha offered methods to help us uncover our potential for peaceful, compassionate and liberated lives.