Quieting the Mind

It’s so hard to become quiet and still in a busy world.

Some people come to meditation to find that stillness.

People have a hard time sometimes. It’s a busy world and sometimes people don’t want to think about adding another thing to their to do list.

But that’s because they aren’t thinking about the benefits.

Meditation isn’t an effort. It isn’t a chore, it’s a simple form of self care. It’s not a mental exercise. It’s an effort at letting go. Taking the time to have a regular meditation practice increases our clarity and awareness. We are able to engage our highest self.

The practice I teach and advocate is sitting with awareness of our thoughts, but not letting them carry us away, not clinging to them.

The practice isn’t about forcing our minds to do anything, but really relaxing and turning the mind inward so we can settle it. It’s bringing out the tranquility that is a natural part of our being.

We sit in a comfortable position. I like to think in terms of sitting and looking up at the sky, just watching to clouds go by. The clouds represent our thoughts and feelings. We don’t hang on to them. We just notice them and let them go by. When we practice letting go of our thoughts, our awareness can get deeper and deeper.

A regular practice of meditation can bring clarity and insight to our lives, regardless of our situation.

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About Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg is an independent dharma teacher in Kansas City. He regularly gives teachings through the Open Heart Project. He also runs the Monday Night Zen Group at the Rime Buddhist Center.
Daniel received a BA in English from KU.
Once a Novice Zen Monk, Daniel dropped out of monk school to become a regular person. He takes his inspiration mainly from Buddhist teachers who were renegades and madmen, like Ikkyu and Han Shan.
Daniel has taken Bodhisattva Vows.

Find out more about Daniel on his website and connect with him on Facebook.