Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 07 – Aspirations

aspirations

Aspirations

What is it that we are really looking for from our lives, and do we have the ability to approach these aspirations with genuine confidence? In meditation, we get to redefine happiness and look critically at our perceived fears and shortcomings. We use our sharpened awareness to cut through the layers of constriction that often surround our perception, and uncover a profoundly different sense of who we truly are. We have the power in changing our relationship to ourselves and our environment

Episode Outline:

  •  Distraction – We often overlook the most fortunate aspects of our basic lives
  •  Undefined – We possess an amazing ability to not be defined by the circumstances we find ourselves in. We can choose to connect to something much bigger. The present moment is the access point
  • It’s Not the Thoughts (It’s the glue) We practice creating space so that we have a choice in what we allow to occupy our minds. It helps to have an anchor (like the breath)
  • Tranquil and Alert (Active equanimity) Sharon explains the inception of the Insight Meditation Center, and the town motto that inspired her
  • What’s Your Motto? – What is the theme or underlying attitude that dictates our day to day lives? Is this disposition helpful or a limiting factor to our ability to expand our awareness of the world around us?
  •  Aspirations – What do we really want, and do we actually think we are capable of attaining our goals?
  •  Perceived Difficulty (On the path) – Why does it seem like so much work to follow through with actions that we know will benefit us? In the process of meditation, we encounter so much, which can be a tremendous vehicle for understanding. As we deepen our practice we begin to see that the struggle is balanced by the spaciousness that we uncover. In sitting with ‘what is’ we cultivate a confidence and resiliency that neutralizes this perceived struggle
  • Reasonable Impulses – When a strong impulse arises to give or to offer something of ourselves, do it! Don’t allow your fears or inhibitions to control your intuitive heart. That’s the yoga, the experiment we are all participating in
  • Mental Loading (Another tool for mindfulness) – Providing gentle labels (joy, sorrow) for strong or overwhelming emotions that arise. This can help to lessen the gravity under which these triggers often operate. There is acknowledgment of the thought or emotion, rather than a confirmation or denial of the experience

Stuff from this episode:

Books by Sharon –

Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (Shambhala Classics)

Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience
Insight Meditation Kit (Step-By-Step Course on How to Meditate)

Photo via Flickr