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Everything we do

A friend in Program says:

We are often inclined to think that meditation is something that takes place in quietness, alone or with other meditators, requiring time taken out from our normal daily routine. Under this model, meditation becomes an activity set aside from normal life, dealing with a practice that has little connection with the real world, can only be indulged in by those with time on their hands, and that is unconnected with the activities of an ordinary human being.

A woman attending a meditation retreat told her teacher she was sorry she'd neglected her meditation practice for many months, but she'd been busy with work. His response: "What makes you think you can't work and meditate at the same time?"

It is in fact not only possible but also desirable to meditate while we work. Naturally, it is probably best to steer clear of a focused meditation where we close our eyes and concentrate on our breathing. But there is no reason why we cannot practice awareness meditation, where instead of focusing our attention we merely follow it, becoming fully aware of each thing we are attending to -- a conversation, an action, a feeling. To bring this mode of concentration to our everyday life is not necessarily easy, but it is quite feasible and with a little practice can become habitual, at least in part. And we will find as a consequence that we are more at ease, more concentrative, more effective, and less hurried -- in other words, that we are doing a better job of whatever work we are performing than we do when we're not practicing awareness.

"The spiritual life is never one of achievement:
it is always one of letting go."

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