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The Pith Instruction

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Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about the pith instructions when it comes to training our mind. So Buddhist nun and author Pema Chodron says the pith instruction is stay. Stay, just stay. Learning to stay with ourselves in meditation, she says, is like training a dog.

If we train the dog by beating it, we will end up with a somewhat obedient dog, but a very inflexible and rather terrified one. The dog might obey when we say stay, come, roll over, sit up. But it will also be neurotic and confused. By contrast, training with kindness results in someone who's flexible, confident, and who doesn't become upset when situations are unpredictable and insecure. So when we're training our mind, we want to remember this core instruction of kindness mixed with persistence in the practice.

This essence of gently encouraging ourselves to stay with whatever our present moment experience is. So if we're experiencing a restless mind, we gently encourage ourselves to stay present. If we're experiencing difficult emotions, we gently encourage ourselves to stay present. If we're feeling impatient, if there's pain in our body, if we're bored, if we're aggravated, lustful, doubtful, fearful. If the mind is telling us we're too busy to practice today, if we don't know what we're doing, if our mind is saying to us, this isn't working.

In all of these cases, again, we just gently encourage ourselves to stay present. So by bringing in the attitudes of kindness, patience, and persistence, we gradually cultivate a steadiness and a settledness in the minds that really anchors us to the depths of presence. Even when the waves of emotion and thought and impulse are moving on the surface of our being, the more time we can spend anchored in presence, the more we can familiarize ourselves with that way of being and the more we're able to navigate through life with more wisdom, calm, love, and courage. So we're going to explore these same some more in today's practice. So I invite you to settle in for that.

And as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

The Pith Instruction

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about the pith instructions when it comes to training our mind. So Buddhist nun and author Pema Chodron says the pith instruction is stay. Stay, just stay. Learning to stay with ourselves in meditation, she says, is like training a dog.

If we train the dog by beating it, we will end up with a somewhat obedient dog, but a very inflexible and rather terrified one. The dog might obey when we say stay, come, roll over, sit up. But it will also be neurotic and confused. By contrast, training with kindness results in someone who's flexible, confident, and who doesn't become upset when situations are unpredictable and insecure. So when we're training our mind, we want to remember this core instruction of kindness mixed with persistence in the practice.

This essence of gently encouraging ourselves to stay with whatever our present moment experience is. So if we're experiencing a restless mind, we gently encourage ourselves to stay present. If we're experiencing difficult emotions, we gently encourage ourselves to stay present. If we're feeling impatient, if there's pain in our body, if we're bored, if we're aggravated, lustful, doubtful, fearful. If the mind is telling us we're too busy to practice today, if we don't know what we're doing, if our mind is saying to us, this isn't working.

In all of these cases, again, we just gently encourage ourselves to stay present. So by bringing in the attitudes of kindness, patience, and persistence, we gradually cultivate a steadiness and a settledness in the minds that really anchors us to the depths of presence. Even when the waves of emotion and thought and impulse are moving on the surface of our being, the more time we can spend anchored in presence, the more we can familiarize ourselves with that way of being and the more we're able to navigate through life with more wisdom, calm, love, and courage. So we're going to explore these same some more in today's practice. So I invite you to settle in for that.

And as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

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