Some time recently a change happened.
For the many years past that I have been practicing some form of meditation or other, the quiet place has been a place to go to: at the start of a day or at its ending there has been a still place where I have learned, over time, to persuade my inner voices to leave their shoes at the door and tip toe around while I take a little holiday from real life. Increasingly, over the past months, the stillness has become not so much a place to go to, but a place to come from. Increasingly, I realise, it is home base; a place I yearn for and long to return to whenever I am absent.
And there is another, paradoxical realization: that the important part of meditation is not the time spent sitting on the stool with my eyes closed. It is, rather, the rest of my life. Spiritual practice is PRACTICE. It is the rehearsal of a way of being which, with glacial slowness, becomes my way of being even when my eyes are open and I am wandering around doing stuff. It is the rehearsal of ways of thinking and being aware which have application everywhere. It is opening myself to the Great Presence who begins then to colonize the rest of my life by reminding me that he was never ever absent from it anyway.
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