Martin Aylward | Trust in the goodness of your practice
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Trust in the goodness of your practice

Teaching in San Francisco this week, I have been speaking with dharma friends about the importance of appreciating the goodness of our practice. We so easily spend time thinking how our meditation practice could or should be more; how we could sit longer, how we should be more concentrated or less dull. All that would be lovely, but the fact that you sit at all is the evidence not of how bad your meditation is, but rather of the goodness of having committed to it in that moment.

Instead of blaming yourself for what seems wrong, a much better support for wisdom and compassion to deepen is to really acknowledge the goodness of heart and the clarity of mind that allow you to value dharma teachings, and to put them into practice again and again.

So trust in the goodness of your practice. Meditate. Give care and attention to what you are doing. Explore teachings and practices. Attend to those around you. The goodness and blessing of that will definitely carry you towards greater joy and ease, greater responsiveness and care, greater fluidity and freedom. As my teacher Christopher Titmuss once said to me about the goodness of this kind of commitment: “Teachings and practice, practice and Teachings: Freedom is unstoppable.”

I rejoice with you in the goodness of your practice that makes you interested in reading these words, that inspires you to attend the classes at and elsewhere, and that brings you to your meditation cushion again and again. May we all continue to flourish and deepen, more and more. Freedom is unstoppable.

I know you are sincere
But please give up
Trying to control
Let it all happen
Life is better at living
Than you are
Let breath breathe
Let thought think
You are entirely superfluous
To your own unfolding

Martin Aylward

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