In a conversation with a student, she told me with longing and sadness that she feels very far away from her practice, and alienated from her spiritual life. You probably know what she means; sometimes our lives get too full to set time aside for meditation, mindful walking, or any other dedicated mindfulness practice. Often we experience a palpable sense of loss, as if we’re exiled from a vital connection to our true selves, far from what’s most beautiful in our lives.
As her teacher, though, what I see is different. She truly embodies her practice of loving awareness, expressed in countless ways — caring for her aging parents, her own large family, her work.
The sense of being far away is not something to overcome but to respect and hold in our loving awareness. This is the way to work with our difficulties, to include them and learn from them. Feelings that seem like adversaries can become our allies when they’re seen and understood. Mindfulness shows us how to do that. The practice offers us nobility and joy as we open our hearts to what is present.
In fact, there can be something more real about the times you feel something’s missing than when you feel satisfied. The more deeply you practice, the more you realize how much there is to learn. Even the self that judges you or your life as lacking is not a problem to be fixed — this, too, can be acknowledged with compassion as part of the path.
This is a way to keep loving awareness in the center of your life, even when it feels far away. Remember, wherever you are right here and now is the perfect place to practice.
With you now,
Image Credit: T. Goodman