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Meditationmyths #2 - The Middle Way

The middle way. #Meditationmyths #Serie #Part1

The middle way in Buddhism is often referred to as the balance - so neither a total rennouncement nor a total attachment. This could be in dealing with sensory pleaures, perceptions, opinions, desires, feelings, the self, desires ...

A lot of people seem to think that when you practice meditation, you should rennounce all your desires, or sensory pleasures, detach yourself somehow, from feelings, or from the self.

A training with basic necessities and some ground rules can have huge benefit in training the mind, in observing your habitual patterns and taking an observational stance towards what you otherwise take for granted, Connecting with a joy within, irrespective of external conditions, or seeing clear in the true causes of suffering - mostly also within yourself. Hence the reason why people (and myself) go on meditation retreats.

But the practice is not about minimizing what is natural to feel or tuck away humanness in the subconsciousness. Its not about rennouncing pleasures of life, but also not about making your mood dependent on them.

Rather than striving to change what we feel or desire, the practice is about observing how we relate to what we feel, desire, think, do, the self, the other...

The question is: do we relate with an energy of rennouncement (this is not okay and i want to push it away...), attachment (I cant be happy when this condition is not met, I should feel good now or else, ...), fleeing (distraction, rumination, ignoring), ...

Or do we relate in a middle way. From awareness. From an observers perspective. Observing what we sense, but also our reactions to it and the long term consequences that flow out of it.

Can we also be mild with ourselves when one of the attaching, fleeing or rennouncing energies come up and take this in awareness too...

If a sensory pleasure, meditation, thought, feeling, the other, the self, exists to flee from the thing that is needing attention, it can never be the condition from which long term freedom can develop.
But if it approached in a middle way, as part of human life, with full attention, then it can be a source of joy, gratitude, insight and growth.


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