Just Listening
I quite enjoyed Tina Fossella’s interview with John Welwood (“Human Nature, Buddha Nature,” Spring 2011). I needed the “small mind work” in order to do some fundamental clearing of the decks, and the meditation practice I started subsequently has been amazing. Ideas and emotions arise while I’m sitting, and I can honor both aspects of them: the small mind aspect and the no-thing aspect.

I still get entangled in the thoughts and emotions from time to time, because the mind is a tricky place and I’m a woman of many stories. But sitting has taught me I can embrace these thoughts and emotions freely and with curiosity while also recognizing that I’m not them and that they don’t have substance or meaning other than what I choose to give them.

This continual awareness of my stories helps my interactions with people around me. In my own experience, the small mind work helped me identify many of the stories that trigger deep needs or emotions, and the meditation practice enables me to recognize when I’m starting to buy into them and behave as if they’re true.

When I become aware—and then let go—of the stories, “just listening” becomes possible. Sitting leaves me open to recognizing deeper and deeper stories as well. Not to play around with them or obsess on them or puzzle out their origins, but just to know “This, too, is part of my self. This, too, can be released.”
Sandra K. Moore
Clear Lake, TX

© Neal Crosbie
© Neal Crosbie

The Legacy of the Buddha
Zoketsu Norman Fischer’s commentary “Beyond Language” (Summer 2011) was a nifty way to move my mind beyond language. I found myself rereading the article to duplicate the experience again and again, as in a meditation that we use to familiarize ourselves with special states of mind.

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