Meditation Articles Series

Meditation and the Dilemma of Being a Westerner

I came across an article in a magazine written by Jack Kornfield, called “On Meditation and Western Thinking.”  This was written back in 1990/91 in Noetic Sciences Review. 

For long time meditators and teachers like Jack Kornfield and Genpo Roshi, how to integrate meditation with western mind thinking has been a challenge.

Back then Jack Kornfield wrote, “Most people need to start their spiritual practice with a deep grounding of self acceptance.  Without loving kindness, self acceptance and compassion, the experiences they have don’t get integrated into their lives.”

I took up meditation because my life became so chaotic, and I wanted to reduce the anxiety that never seemed to go away.  Meditation has certainly helped, and it is the foundation to both my daily living and unfolding spirituality.  However, I also needed help to change the limiting core beliefs that were subconsciously running my life in ways I didn’t find conducive to my well being.  I couldn’t always make the shift from meditation where I experienced all sorts of altered states, to daily living.  I could feel such deep abiding compassion in meditation and loving kindness but I wasn’t always able to translate that into my relationships, and most of all in my relationship to myself.  

In next week’s blog I’ll tell you about a workshop that I found very enlightening, and one that sets about bringing that integration into western thinking.

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