Rest in the meaningAugust 12, 2014 | 2 Comments
As students of the dharma (whatever your dharma may be) we know the sheer delight of learning. We are fortunate to gather new insights, make connections, and feel privy to a new way of looking at the world. It is so exciting. We hear things that actually make sense—or that don’t, but in some equally intriguing way.
I can’t tell you how often I’ve had the experience of hearing a teaching that I want to somehow put to use immediately because it is just so awesome. I love it when that happens although, invariably, I either forget it or fail to apply it. I need reminders, lots and lots of reminders. How can we learn things in such a way that they stick without having to hear them over and over?
Actually, hearing them over and over is one of the key ways to make them stick.
You’ve heard meditation instruction close to one jillion times by this point—but does it always sound the same? Probably not. On certain days, one detail may captivate you that you fail to notice on others. Every time you read about compassion, a new facet is revealed. It is important to hear things repeatedly because, in fact, each time we are hearing it for the first time.
There is another way to ingrain a teaching. It has nothing to do with your actions, in fact, it is more akin to a non-action. This way is called “to rest in the meaning.”
To rest in the meaning is a beautiful thing to do. Instead of immediately trying to use it, you allow the meaning to touch you.
The next time you hear something that strikes you, don’t try to do anything with it. Don’t put it in your planner. Don’t explain to others how to do it. Don’t plan to teach a class on it. (As is my wont.) Instead, allow the meaning to wash over you as you would a cool wind on a warm day. Just feel it. Making this kind of visceral connection implants the meaning in a trustworthy way. So don’t do. Rest. The meaning will take over from there.
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