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Befriending the Mind: Easing Into the Heart of Awakening

Doug Kraft

Some meditators put too much of the wrong kind of effort into meditation. The mind doesn't need to be controlled, shaped, or trained. Trying to do so is like standing in a hammock: it's difficult to do, destabilizing, and completely unnecessary.

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Book Information

Publisher: Easing Awake Books
Publish Date: 04/26/2019
Pages: 238
ISBN-13: 9780998693682
ISBN-10: 0998693685
Language: English

Full Description

Some meditators put too much of the wrong kind of effort into meditation. The mind doesn't need to be controlled, shaped, or trained. Trying to do so is like standing in a hammock: it's difficult to do, destabilizing, and completely unnecessary. A natural kindness and intelligence imbue the mind-heart. They can easily be obscured. Our job is to discover the clarity and wisdom inherent within. This may take effort and discipline. But wisdom is about revealing rather than ruling. Awakening begins with befriending the mind. *** To be sure, sometimes the mind goes out of control with more enthusiasm than it knows how to manage. Other times it's lethargic or lost, not knowing where it is, where it's going, or where to find the energy to keep moving through the gloom. During these times we may yearn for stability, peace, vitality, clarity, or uplift. We may be tempted to take charge and will these qualities onto the mind. However, habit is stronger than will. Willpower may work for a while. But in the long run, it's hard to sustain. Rather than trying to overrule the mind-heart, we can befriend it - open up to it with kindness, get to know it better, see how it operates. *** A traditional Buddhist metaphor for this process is the parting of storm clouds. As the sun shines through, we notice the openness of the sky itself. The sun is always shining. The sky is always spacious. Clouds can obscure the luminous expanse. But these qualities are always present. We don't create them. Instead, we discover what was hidden. *** What we truly seek is already here, though it may be obscured. Realizing our natural peace and vitality is a middle way that is neither domineering nor out of control. It exposes a natural mind-heart that is peaceful, luminous, patient, intelligent, kind, wise, gentle, agenda-less, and so quiet it draws no attention. Attuning to it could be called "easing awake." Or it could be called "befriending the mind." *** This book explores how to befriend the mind-heart, the inner landscape that is revealed by this process, and the natural non-dual awareness that emerges.

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