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Showing posts from July, 2011

Cloud Gazing

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When I was a kid I used to lie in the grass under a tree and stare up at the clouds. I would just watch the clouds floating slowly by, gradually changing their shapes. Occasionally I would notice a cloud that looked like a familiar object, and I would name it, "dragon," "ship," but mostly my mind just floated like the clouds, with thoughts coming in and flowing out just as freely. It was incredibly relaxing. I think most of us have very few moments of relaxation like that in our lives.

What has happened to us? Life has given us so many experiences that whenever we have a thought, however random, it leads to another thought, and another, until we are carried far away from where we started. A lifetime's experience gives us many things to think about, many ideas to connect to. It's particularly unsettling to pay attention to the train of thought and realize how often it leads to self-criticism.

This idea is particularly appropriate in a practice, whether it be…