Thursday, October 13, 2011

Full Catastrophe Living

"Full Catastrophe Living" by Jon Kabat-Zinn is the seminal resource for the MBSR course that Jason and I took earlier this year.

I've been slowly working my way through the book. Usually, I'm a total speed reader but this book is different. One sentence can hold me for days.

This passage I read today felt particularly poignant for me at this time in my life:
"To cultivate meditative awareness requires an entirely new way of looking at the process of learning. Since thinking that we know what we need and where we want to get are so ingrained in our minds, we can easily get caught up in trying to control things to make them turn out "our way," the way we want them to. But this attitude in antithetical to the work of awareness and healing. Awareness requires only that we pay attention and see things as they are. It doesn't require that we change anything. And healing requires receptivity and acceptance, a tuning to connectedness and wholeness. None of this can be forced, just as you cannot force yourself to go to sleep. You have to create the right conditions for falling asleep and then you have to let go. The same is true for relaxation. It cannot be achieved through force of will. That kind of effort will only produce tension and frustration." 

Letting go is hard.

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