Reading for March 14

“How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal
but by degrees?” William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

Patience is wisdom. Meditation cultivates patience. For those who
subscribe to the metaphor of the addict’s mind , this is not as simple as it
sounds. Meditation takes practice. Meditation is a discipline of both learning
and unlearning. We who have obsessive tendencies fill quiet moments with
rumination or activity, believing that these moments will be made richer by our
busy minds. What we fill the quietness with is often clutter. Compare that with
quieting our minds and objectively observing our thoughts and feelings right
now. Regret and dread distract us from the present moment. Addicts new to
Meditation will experience boredom, frustration and/or anxiety as they struggle
with mindful Meditation. A class, a book and/or a mentor may be needed to
help train us away from old Habits including judgment, obsession and
Avoidance. Like a runner preparing for his first marathon, we devote our
energy and motivation to finding time, keeping our promises and progressing,
as Shakespeare says, “by degrees.”

Do I know that, to be truly free, I have to cultivate the wisdom to treat
recovery as a process, not an event? I already have some discipline—I show
up on time for events and appointments that are important to me. How can I
apply whatever discipline I do have to practicing Meditation so I can gain
patience, wisdom and a clear head (by degrees)?

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