The Power of Choice
Meditation has been a fairly consistent part of my routine for over a year now. I can’t say that it has always taken me to that calm and steady place, but it has allowed me to become much more familiar with the true nature of my mind. And sometimes our truth is far from calm and peaceful.
This morning I sat outside to meditate. I began by simply following my breath and slowly I noticed the amazingly vibrant and complex diversity of sounds around me. The strong steady rhythm of the crickets chirping. The beautiful sounds of the vast array of birds. The movement of leaves and branches within the current of the breeze. Yes, in the middle of central Austin, my experience was breathtaking. But even amidst such beauty, I seemed to easily slip away into the thoughts in my head. It was fascinating to see how much power the thinking mind has and that it could completely alter my experience. It could so easily overshadow the beauty that I had been present to just minutes prior. So rather than being frustrated by the nature of my mind, I was more fascinated to see the power that it carries. Whether I choose to be present to the beauty in front of me or the drama residing in my head is up to me. I can train my mind to make those choices, but the choices only come when I am able to become more mindful of all the things my mind is drawn to. I have to dive into all the places that I may not want to be in so that I can step out more skillfully with time.
Meditation is not about negating any aspect of my experience, but rather about inviting it in more expansively. The more expansive I am, the more I see the choices that are given to me. The more I can discern how the choices alter my experience, the more skillful I hope to become at making them.