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One Breath at a Time

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Hi everyone. For anyone who missed tonight's meeting, we read up to The Four Noble Truths, on pg 22. We had a great discussion about the middle way and taking our meditation practice off the cushion and into our daily lives so that we can act more mindfully and skillfully.

These are the contemplative questions for this week: How has your meditation practice laid "the groundwork for acting skillfully in the world"( p17) and what has your experience been around finding a middle way using your meditative practice? Remembering that Kevin defines the middle way as " not clinging to a single answer but responding to what is happening right now"

Another question to consider is the idea of karma as "a simple cause and effect formula" and that..."everything starts with thoughts" p18 Was this your understanding of karma prior to this reading? And do you find that empowering or daunting?

In response to the second question, I myself find it to be both- empowering and yet a little daunting- having to accept responsibility for my what my thoughts and then my actions create in my life. I find that meditation and mindfulness help me to pause and hopefully make choices that are more skillful and therefore lead to more "good" karma than "bad", but I recognize that these are just judgments and that there is only what is. As Kevin points out, I can strive to find the balance between what I am responsible for and what I am powerless over by using the practice of meditation to foster the qualities or attitudes described in the serenity prayer. I try to do this, but it's a continual process. I am grateful to recognize that I am not at the complete mercy of this thing called "karma" which I used to believe was just fate by another name. It is empowering to have choice in the matter, especially when that choice is guided into skillful behavior by mindfulness and meditation.

What about you? I'd love to hear what you think.



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