Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Learning to Stay

There is a Sanskrit word for the complete acceptance of who we are. It is matri. Meditation is the path. It seems all of us have an aversion to discomfort. Some have a higher tolerance than others, but in the finally analysis, we would rather not be uncomfortable, physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. But a central point in meditation is to just "sit with" whatever arises in the moment.

When we practice this sitting, we find that it is not as difficult as we imagined. Accepting the discomfort, knowing it will come and go, we can begin to let go of our long-held belief that we need to push discomfort away. Gradually, we begin to experience those gaps that come at the end of the inhale and exhale of our breathing cycle. The gaps are portals really into a vast, openness that is who we are. Don't take my word for it. Try it; be willing to stay long enough in your discomfort to relax into matri.

Pema Chodron, revered American Buddhist nun, describes the four qualities of matri that are cultivated when we meditate: steadfastness, clear seeing, experiencing our emotional distress, and attention to the present moment.

As these qualities are uncovered, we find ourselves living moment to moment, allowing life to unfold in us. Just being who we are.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for reminding me of the wonderful qualities of matri, of affording to wait and let the bad come and the good come like waves on a beach. :)