The Ordinary

A lot of the narrative around the New Year suggests that it must be different and special….

We tend to overlook the ordinary. We are usually only aware of our breath when it’s abnormal, like if we have asthma or when we’ve been running hard. But [with mindfulness] we take our ordinary breath as the meditation object. We don’t try to make the breath long or short, or control it in any way, but to simply stay with the normal inhalation and exhalation. The breath is not something that we create or imagine; it is a natural process of our bodies that continues as long as life lasts, whether we concentrate on it or not. So it is an object that is always present; we can turn to it at any time. We don’t have to have any qualifications to watch our breath. We do not even need to be particularly intelligent — all we have to do is to be content with, and aware of, one inhalation and exhalation. Wisdom does not come from studying great theories and philosophies, but from observing the ordinary.

Ajahn Sumedho, Now is the Knowing

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