Insight Meditation Online

Keeping the Balance

An image often used to describe the practice of meditative attention is that of walking a tightrope. To succeed in this art you must necessarily pay attention to your balance. This applies especially to how you are relating to things - your attitude. The untrained mind is constantly reaching out to pull at desirable objects or pushing away unpleasant objects; this habit of 'pushing and pulling', liking/disliking, is the cause of much stress, loss of energy and imbalance.

So, keeping your balance is developing a mind that does not cling or reject, like or dislike and is without attachment or condemnation. Being attentive with compassionate equanimity towards your experience will bring 'balance of mind', which is the Buddha's Middle Way.

Ways of relating to the experience to help maintain balance:

  • Witnessing - noting impartially whatever you are experiencing while you are experiencing it without evaluation or judgments.
  • Letting go - rather than constantly seeking gratification of wishes and desires. For a meditator, there needs to be at least some degree of giving up or 'non-clinging' to create the space to see.
  • Removing the censor - by an attitude of acceptance of all thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations into awareness without discrimination.
  • Attitude of neutrality - that is, impeccably registering physical and mental events without posturing or positioning yourself to them.
  • Receptivity - that is, being alert, sensitive and intimate with what is observed from a place of relaxed receptivity.

By following this meditative way of relating to your experience, especially in everyday life, the practice matures as wise attention with on-looking equanimity. Not only does this brings equilibrium into your own life, with great benefit to your relationships, but it will be naturally expressed as a compassionate, caring outlook for all suffering existence

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