The fourth attitude in mindfulness, is Non-Striving. Most of our lives are about attaining or getting rid of something. If you watch yourself throughout one day, I bet you’d find that most of your actions are about just that. And there is nothing wrong with this, as long as it doesn’t create suffering.
Meditation, however, takes the opposite approach. It’s not about striving for or changing anything. It’s about being instead of doing. A lot of people will say they can’t meditate because they can’t stop thinking. But that is assuming that the goal of meditation is to have a quiet mind. Rather, the goal is to be with whatever is in the present moment. So if you are thinking, it’s about noticing your thinking. If you are having lots of feelings, it’s about noticing those.
Yet long time meditators will say that they can cultivate a quiet mind. And that’s the paradox of meditation. By not trying to change what is happening in the present moment, by noticing and being with it, the thought or feeling will eventually subside. Whereas if you try to not have it, what happens? It usually increases in intensity!
So I suggest that you give this a try. If you’ve been struggling with your meditation practice, or have avoided meditating, due to an active mind, try changing your goal. Take a stance of Non–Striving, and see if you can meditate more easily.
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