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Returning to Our Senses

l have been struggling to make sense of these dreadful months in our collectively dreadful modern history at the same time that, newly engaged, I find myself fundamentally happier in my personal life than I have been for many years.  How do our personal narratives intersect with larger events?  How does mindfulness of our sensations, our emotions, and our thoughts motivate us to compassionate action in the world, as we visit again and again the space between stimulus and response that Rollo May wrote of nearly 50 years ago?

Human freedom involves our capacity to pause between stimulus and response and, in that pause, to choose the one response toward which we wish to throw our weight. The capacity to create ourselves, based upon this freedom, is inseparable from consciousness or self-awareness.1

Our thoughts are invariably directed toward the past or the future – the present is the domain of our sensory and emotional experience. In this sense, meditation is the iterative practice of non-attachment to our thoughts as we return to our immediate experience.  It is the practice of honing our capacity to be fully present here and now in our body. 


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