I’ve been reading and practising a lot of Buddhist psychology recently and one principle that resonates with me is the middle path.
The middle path is the paradox of being in the world but not of it. It is being present to whatever life throws our way without resistance or grasping.
I started a daily meditation practice a year ago and this is my progress in finding the middle way:
Learning not to get caught up in my drama
Even when I become upset or emotional about a situation, I am eventually mindful of the story that is at play. It is easy then to step away and see the drama for what it truly is, allowing space for me to either accept or change it.
Learning to let go
I tend to obsess and become attached to people, objects and ideals. I hate change. But I am learning that life is transient and holding on tightly only brings suffering.
Learning not to take things personally
Whenever someone lashed out or attacked me, I would either become angry or hurt. I know now that what people do has nothing to do with me.
Becoming more compassionate
Everyone is on their own path and doing the best they can. I have no right to judge or add to their burden. I choose to see the best in people, giving them space to see the best in themselves.
Finding the sacred in the mundane
Becoming more mindful is allowing me to take pleasure in the small things, like walking in the park on a sunny day, or enjoying a bubble tea on my way to work. Things I used to take for granted. I now savour these moments and understand that all of life is sacred and needs to be honoured.
There is joy in stillness
I used to find meditation burdensome and uncomfortable. Even ten minutes seemed too much. Now I relish my twenty minutes of quiet in the morning, seeing it as a chance to self-reflect and set my intentions for the new day.
The middle path is continuous. There is no destination or peak we need to reach and therein lies the beauty. Even when we think we’ve ‘got it’, the next day we might lose it. There is peace in knowing that life is always changing. I am learning to rest in the present and ask of life, “what will you bring me next?”