Inspired by a recent talk I watched online from Buddhist teacher and author Susan Piver, I’ve been thinking about how one of the great fruits of cultivating a meditation practice is developing the art of staying.
“Meditation teaches you how to stay with discomfort. What could be more valuable than that? Because basically everything is uncomfortable.”
– Susan Piver
Having a daily sitting meditation practice enables me to hone the art of staying, which enriches my daily life in a multitude of ways. But, staying with what? Ultimately, it comes down to an ability of staying grounded within myself in the present moment. But here are some specific instances that come to mind where the art of staying offers tangible, and practical, benefit:
The Art of Staying enables me to:
– have less frustration and more patience when I’m standing in a particularly slow line at the market
– offer my full presence to a friend I unexpectedly run into, and haven’t seen in a while, who proceeds to tell me a myriad of details about an especially troubling situation she’s been going through
– practice joy and connect with gratitude amid life’s many to-do’s which are commonly begrudged, such as: doing the laundry, taking out the trash, going food shopping, paying the bills, cleaning…
– plan for the future without being overly consumed by it
– experience each day as a gift
– find myself humorous when I experience petty aggravations on the road while driving (which happens to me A LOT :)
– have the capacity to more easily go with the flow and adapt accordingly to changes as they unfold
– ever-widen my comfort zone, encountering awkward or uncomfortable situations as opportunities to practice strengthening mindfulness and connection, rather than as occasions to avoid, dull my senses, or run away from
– stay in touch with the joyful elements that lie within and around me in every moment, truly
I really enjoy encountering teachings that afford me a new perspective and way of enfolding the dharma into my everyday landscape of thought and practice.
And if you happen to be into watching Dharma talks online I would definitely recommend Susan Piver, I’ve been really liking her.