It's very easy to be less than skillful, even for long-time meditation practitioners. Instead of observing with curiosity whatever arises, it's very easy to automatically judge & banish whatever we don't like, compulsively grab whatever we want, and thus miss much of the rest of life.
The "hardware" for this approach-avoidance dichotomy resides in every human brainstem. A lifetime of continuous mindfulness training allows us to override autopilot, and thus live increasingly more wisely.
“When I find myself full of fear or desire, I remember that I am
dealing with a brain and nervous system that has been hard-wired for
millions of years for these emotions. Then I apply one of my favorite
mantras, ‘I’m perfectly human.’ When I sit in meditation as a human
being rather than as an individual, I feel I am part of a collective
effort on the part of our species to right itself, to find a new sanity.
As Robert Thurman says of meditation, ‘It’s evolutionary sport.’ In the
light of that big perspective, I thank you for being on my team.”
|Pippo of Villa Zuccari, Umbria, Italy |