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Meditation Gives Me a Chance

weekly letter Jul 21, 2020


Meditation gives me a chance. It gives me a chance to notice the influences guiding my thinking. If I am able to notice these influences, and I have the willingness to be generous, then I can act in ways that are not only helpful to the world but make me happy as well. Meditation gives me a chance to align my intentions for how I want to behave with my behavior. 

A regular meditation practice promises nothing. I know, only too well, how lost I can get on the way to realizing my intentions for how I want to behave in the world, how misaligned my actions can be from my ideals. Nevertheless, I am grateful for the chance.

All around us we see a terrible misalignment in the world, an absence of integrity that arises out of not paying attention to the influences guiding our thinking. I truly believe everyone, without exception, wants to be happy and that we are at our happiest when we are helping others because that is when the barriers between our isolated selves and everything else disappear. It is when we are helping that we can experience a deep sense of communion. But we are also biological and the fear of scarcity is deeply programmed into our being. This programming tries to mitigate the possibility of scarcity by behaving selfishly, which cuts us off from what makes us happy: helping others. Being with others. And I don’t limit this to material, we can be selfish with our time, with our affection, with our generosity of thought. 

But if we are able to notice the influences guiding our thinking we have a chance. We might still choose the selfish option. I do that more often than I like to admit. I am a work in progress. But a regular meditation practice, a time set aside for reflection, gives me a chance to see what is happening in my life, to see what is driving my emotions and my actions, to see if I am happy. And for that, I am very grateful. 

For the last four months and for the conceivable future I host a regular 30-minute sitting on Zoom at 7:00 AM and 7:30 PM M-F. At the end of each sitting I share a reading from a Zen Buddhist teacher and we discuss it as a group. All are welcome. If you would like to join, send me an email and I’ll send you the Zoom meeting links. 

I have also just released a new 5-day listening course because I wanted to create something that might help people feel connected in the midst of this isolated time. This course includes a few simple ideas and techniques to help you create a little more intimacy and connection in your life. I hope you will try it out. 

xo, Ian

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