Elephants and fleas

Sometimes when our thoughts are like little fleas that jump off our noses, we just see the little flickers of thought, like ripples, which might have a very liberating quality. For the first time you might feel ” My goodness! There’s so much space, and it’s always been here.”   Another time it might feel like that elephant is sitting on you. It’s important to realize that meditation doesn’t prefer the flea to the elephant, or vice versa. It is simply a process of seeing what is, noticing that, accepting that, and then going on with life, which, in terms of the technique, is coming back to the simplicity of nowness, the simplicity of the out-breath. Whether you are completely caught up in discursive thought for the entire sitting period, or whether you feel that enormous sense of space, you can regard either one with gentleness and a sense of being awake and alive to who you are. Either way, you can respect that. So taming teaches that meditation is developing a nonaggressive attitude to whatever occurs in your mind. It teaches that meditation is not considering yourself an obstacle to yourself; in fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Pema Chodron

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