There is no such thing as an experienced meditator

There is no such thing as an experienced meditator. Every breath must be as if it is the first, every step a fresh event. A beginner's mind leads to a sense of gratitude for everything, whether or not the desires of my ego have been granted or life is going smoothly. A grateful heart for the rushing currents as well as for the still pools puts the ego in its place. This attitude that grows out of increased awareness does not come easily in the face of difficulties, but it is worth cultivating over a lifetime.

In the vessel of silence inner transformation can occur

For sheer adventure, exploring the inner space of the human spirit has to equal the exploration of outer space. Inner space holds a realm of existence not readily apparent when we are in the grip of the strident external world. A powerful launching vehicle for the discovery of the realm within is silence. It is in the vessel of silence that inner transformation can occur.

Dropping out of the future and past

To open to the sense, to become really conscious, you have to drop out of the future and the past and remain for a time in what T. S. Eliot called "the still point of the turning world" — the present. The only true reality is the present.

This was happiness: sitting in a tree

A week of silence had tipped the balance from the desire for external rewards to the intrinsic value of being. I passed the oak I'd sat on the day before. This was happiness: witting in a tree. Lying in the grass. Feeling the fog or the sunshine touching my skin. Watching a hawk circle. All anbition and seeking had fallen away. Even my desire to cling to the sensations of the moment had dissolved. I only wanted to live my life while it was happening, not enmeshed in the past of all that lives.