Mindfulness Is a Means, Not an End

We are told that meditation and mindfulness can lead us beyond suffering, can help us be open and peaceful.  We can become one with the all.  Then, as a fillip at the end, we are told that we should return from our perfect clairty and peace to be compassionate.

But we are not told how to be compassionate.  We are not told stories of compassion as the end, but of meditation only.

The goal of passing beyond suffering, the goal of being centered, the goal of being at peace, the goal of being open to the world–these are selfish.  ME is still what all revolves around.  Some who practice meditation more deeply hope to go beyond the me to a union with all, the dissolution of the self.  Nirvana.  And then, don’t forget, return to the rest of us to teach us.

There is only one worthy goal: to have a loving heart.  Meditation leading to some peace, some putting from us the horrors of hate, greed, vengeance, lust, fear, gluttony, pride, impatience, indifference, sloth, schadenfreude, guilt, and allergy can make it easier for us to live with an open heart that loves.

Many acting exercises are similar to meditation, but the actor knows that they are only a tool, a way to open to be able to portray a character.  Meditation, too, is a tool, to lead to a loving heart.  No se puede vivir sin amar.

The end of suffering is no worthy goal.  It is learning how to live with suffering, to see suffering as essential in the steps to having a loving heart, this is a worthy goal.  Not to suffer is not to live.  Erasing passion is not to be able to love fully.

We learn to have a loving heart by being loving, each day, learning and telling stories of loving as guides.  We learn to have a loving heart by remembering never to pass up an opportunity to be generous.

A comparison of the way of a loving heart to the selfish version of mindfulness is made in The BARK of DOG, which I have translated from the classic Sumerian.  There you will find stories that give worth to the practice of meditation.

In peace, Arf