The primary focus of this path of choosing wisely, of this training to de-escalate aggression, is learning to stay present. Pausing very briefly, frequently throughout the day, is an almost effortless way to do this. For just a few seconds we can be right here. Meditation is another way to train in learning to stay, or, as one student put it more accurately, learning to come back, to return to being present over and over again. The truth is, anyone who’s ever tried meditation learns really quickly that we are almost never fully present. I remember when I was first given meditation instruction. It sounds so simple: Just sit down, get comfortable, and bring light awareness to your breath. When your mind wanders, gently come back and stay present with your breath. I thought, “This will be easy.” Then someone hit a gong to begin and I tried it. What I found was that I wasn’t present with a single breath until they hit the gong again to end the session. I had spent the whole time lost in thought.
from the book Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears
Read a random quote or see all quotes by Pema Chödron.
Further quotes from the book Taking the Leap:
- Unconditional openness
- Realizing that we are never alone
- Admiting all experiences
- Getting unstuck
- Learning to accept the present moment
- Here, Now, Always
- Lean In
- Openness is like the wind
- Letting natural openness come to us
- A reservoir of courage