The ancient Chinese used the image of the host to describe the observing, stable meditator. Many guests visit the host. Some are invited, and they tend to be kind, charming, and a pleasure to entertain. Others are not invited: they are drunk, unruly, and eat all the food. Or they stand around, staring into space.

If you become so absorbed in the behaviors of your guests that you forget you’re in charge, you are no longer the host. Can you stay awake in the face of all the diverse visitors who come and go? This is your practice when you sit. To be the host. To be awareness itself.

From Three Steps to Awakening: A Practice for Bringing Mindfulness to Life by Larry Rosenberg © 2013. Reprinted with permission of Shambhala Publications

Illustration by Roberto La Forgia

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