February 16, 2013

Resting and My Parent

The first step is called resting, and the first practice is resting. The second practice of resting is continuously resting, the third, naively resting, and the fourth, thoroughly resting. If I have it correctly, it's pretty straightforward. 

Now let's look at how each works, in detail:  
First instruction of resting the mind, is to be with the breath in a one-pointed way.  Here it works best to just be aware of the out-breath.  The second instruction, continually resting, is to prolong your sense of being with the out-breath. See if you can naturally elongate each breath, without being distracted.
Third practice is to be naive, keeping it very simple. In this resting practice, refrain from intellectualizing; just keep coming  back from thinking, using the breath. You say, "Come back to the breath." Coming back with a simple request is "naively" resting.
The fourth practice is a deepening practice, to "thoroughly resting."   You work this practice, once you feel settled into each of the first three ways.  In this practice, you catch the tiny flickers of thought that come up.

You know, this makes me think of how I am working with my dysfunctional mom. 

I didn't cause her personal illness, and I can't cure it.  Nor can I control her automatic behaviors. But I can be aware of them, and identify them, and do so in an increasingly gentle way. From my meditation practice, I am now able to catch her at her first impulses to hurt me.

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