Going Right To The Source

Meditators and non-meditators all want to live happy, healthy, and productive lives. There are so many ways to make incremental improvements to our lives that we all share and understand. Healthy eating, exercise, education, family and friends each contribute to our lives in positive ways. Everyone can relate to this. But things start to get complicated very quickly. If children are taught to be racist in school, education is no longer a positive thing. If friends are encouraging you to break the law, they’re no longer helping you. If exercising is causing you to develop an ego, it’s harming you. Again, everyone can relate to the complexities in life.

What I like about Vipassana is it goes to the source of my problems and starts improving my life from that source. While many other activities, like those mentioned above, improve certain aspects of my life, they don’t help me figure out how to fix what’s going wrong. As my foundation has become stronger through the healing of meditation everything else, like eating healthy and improving relationships, has followed naturally. This is why Vipassana is considered a universal remedy for universal ills.

This view of Vipassana helps me stay connected to humanity. I’m not a special person on a special path with a special technique. I’m just a person like everyone else trying to live a happy, healthy, and productive life. I’m excited that a found a practice that helps me with these universal goals, and lucky to be able to share my experiences with others. Maybe someone else will benefit from my turning the wheel of dhamma but maybe the time isn’t right for dhamma to enter their lives. That’s all out of my control. The important thing is to keep growing as an individual on this path and to keep loving and supporting all of the people in my life, and everything else will develop naturally. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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