What does it mean to find the Middle Way? Not in the sense of picking up a book on Buddhism or contacting a teacher, but in ourselves and in our lives. There is always a draw to act, a restless wish to move, to create, to do something. And there is also a wish to submit–and I’m not talking about depression or being a mouse or some unwholesome slavish quality here but to a wholesome impulse to be still and know a greater wholeness–to bear witness to greater life.
There are always two different currents operating in most of us–a push outward and a pull inward and upward, up out of this worldly mess. Yet sometimes, when we sit down to meditate or walk in nature or otherwise try to be very aware of what is happening in the present moment, we can find an attitude and an attention that can embrace all the disparate parts of ourselves, including that irreconcilable push-pull. Sometimes, we can be actively quiet inside–passively active, embracing and observing and delving into what we are like and what life is like. This is the Middle Path: it is that vibrant attention that can be medium–that can stay between those opposite pulls, that can unite our thoughts and feelings and sensations–parts that have so little in common they haven’t spoken to each other in years.
—an excerpt from “Happy Medium” by Tracy Cochran at the Parabola Editors blog.
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