Today, we are talking about the PRACTICE of opening to an everyday, ordinary Grace, and a large part of this practice is how we relate to stress. For most of us, the natural assumption is that stress is a bad thing. That it is in the way of our joy, and that we need things to be different if we are to open to Grace.

In truth, what we learn through practice, is that stress isn’t the problem. It is our REACTION to stress that creates suffering. It is our reaction to the feeling of “too much to do, not enough time.” It is the “hurry up and work harder” mentality that often accompanies a fear of not getting it done that separates us from Grace.

In this week’s practice, we experiment with an idea offered by meditation teacher Joseph Goldstein. He is quoted as saying –

Every time I think I have a problem, I decide I don’t have one.

Today, I invite you to really consider this statement. Practice using it all week. For the big issues and the small ones. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, that it isn’t scary, or challenging. It is simply shifting to say, “this is how it is right now.”

This moment isn’t a problem.

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

I’m not a Zen meditation practitioner, but I’m intrigued by the practice of Zen Koans. A koan is a question or a story that upon reflecting on it, causes the student to awaken. Hearing the right question at the right moment. Seeing the sunrise on this particular day…. Any of thousands of mundane moments can be the catalyst for awakening to the grace and beauty of our everyday lives. This month’s meditation series is about exactly this – Ordinary Grace.

It’s in the spilled milk. The missed yoga class. The laughter of a child.

How does this awakening to grace happen? It is in the subtle shift from head to heart. Rather than racing to a finish line, we find ourselves simply dropping into the moment. And, what better way to practice this dropping in than in meditation.

Join me for today’s episode of The Mindful Minute as we explore the unfolding of this inner quality, as we learn to trust our own deepest experiences and open to Ordinary Grace.

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This series has been a walk on the path towards TRUST. We started out {part 1} acknowledging our Intention/s. The things/pieces/ideas that call us to search, to listen, and to practice. Then we moved to Attention {part 2}.

Remember our Rumi quote from last week?

“You set out to find God, but then you keep stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses.”

Attention reminds us to quit stopping at those mean-spirited roadhouses. The houses of habitual thinking or of story, perhaps?

And, now, we land at the doorsteps of Trust. Intention and Attention guide us but the real work is the process of honoring ourselves.

Pema Chodron reminds us, “Self-improvement can have temporary results, but lasting transformation occurs only when we honor ourselves as the sources of wisdom and compassion.”

No one can tell us who to trust or how to trust. It is our own work & our own lessons learned that teach us how to trust.

Join me for today’s episode of The Mindful Minute and explore for yourself. Does this ring true for you: THE MOMENT IS COMPLETE.

I have received so much feedback on this series so far, and I am so glad it’s resonate for so many of you! In this series, we are moving away from shame/doubt/questioning and into T R U S T.

Our first step was Intention. Intention is the thing that calls us to action, that draws us out of limiting beliefs & habitual thinking, and into our desire for more wakefulness.

The second step is Attention. This is the invitation to actually be here in the present moment. To be awake to what is true in the moment.

Rumi sums up the difficulty of this perfectly when he says, “You set out to find God, but then you keep stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses.”

What are your “roadhouses”? Fear? Doubt? Numbing?

Join me for today’s talk on the gift of Attention and how it impacts our ability to trust the moment. We will also look at the four stages of evolution in a meditation practice {hint: how do you respond when your partner forgets the milk?}, and, of course, we will meditate together for 20 minutes at the end.

Next week, the final installment of this series will be release – a deep dive into T R U S T.

Photo by Paolo Nicolello on Unsplash
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I recently heard someone express that Trust is the antithesis of shame. Trust is asking us to believe that the moment is complete rather than believing we are flawed and unworthy of acceptance. Trust is asking us to set aside our negativity bias – the subconscious assumption that this moment is a problem and needs to be fixed – and instead to stay present.

In this first talk of our Trust series, we are going to dip a toe in the waters of Trust. We aren’t diving headfirst just yet, but we are taking a first step on the path –

Today, we are talking I N T E N T I O N.

More specifically, we are talking about a liberating intention. One that is innately present within us. One that is possibly now. And, one that asks us to listen more deeply.

Join me for today’s talk on Intention and Trust, and let’s explore our intentions together in a 20-minute guided meditation.

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Deep Questioning

August 29, 2018

Our August meditation series has been based on how we connect our meditation practice to our real life. Deeper Connection is about connecting the stillness and reflection of meditation into the on-the-go, action of our day-to-day lives. As we talked about the last few weeks, this connection begins with Deep Listening, followed by Deep Speaking, and today, in our final installment of this series, we look at Deep Questioning.

Questioning is foundational to the meditative path. This is a first person practice, meaning you can’t gain benefit from reading about it, or listening to someone talk about it; you must practice using your experience as the laboratory.

In some of the older texts about meditation, you will see a Pali word – Ehipassiko – as part of the teachings. Ehipassiko translates as “come and see for yourself.” Don’t believe something just because you hear it, or read about it, or some {very wise ;-} teacher said it… Try it for yourself.

Mark Nepo reminds us that “the sign of a good question is that the questioner is more alive for having asked it.”

What questions are you asking today?

Tune into today’s episode of The Mindful Minute as we stop talking. Stop doing.
We listen deeply.
We speak authentically.
And, we ask the questions that matter.

For more information about my teaching schedule and offerings, visit merylarnett.com.

#meditatewithmeryl

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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