The Heart of Skillful Meditation

The heart of skillful meditation is the ability to let go and begin again, over and over again. Even if you have to do that thousands of times during a session, it does not matter. There is no distance to traverse in recollecting our attention; as soon as we realize we have been lost in discursive thought, or have lost touch with our chosen contemplation, right in that very moment we can begin again. Nothing has been ruined, and there is no such thing as failing. There is nowhere the attention can wander to, and no duration of distraction, from which we cannot completely let go, in a moment, and begin again....Beginning again and again is the actual practice, not a problem to be overcome so that one day we can come to the "real" meditation.

-Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

I love how Sharon describes skillful meditation because much of my personal meditation practice consists of bringing my wandering mind back to begin again. Meditation is a practice, not a destination. So please feel free to begin again and again with no guilt and no shame.

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