Changing the Family Dynamic

My family just had one of the best holiday seasons we’ve had in a long time. It seemed like there was no drama and everyone enjoyed the loving atmosphere that was created by us coming together. It’s hard for me to remember the last time the holidays were drama free.

This experience got me wondering what role Vipassana may have played this holiday season. I’m the only person who has sat a 10 day course, and no one in my family is all that interested in taking a course, but I wonder, is my presence and my metta improving the overall family dynamic? Or is that just my ego jumping in trying to take credit for something that had nothing to do with me?

Another possibility is that my family functioned very similarly to how it always functions, but my practice allowed me to continuously function in a positive space. Whenever a small fire was ignited, I was comfortable throwing water on it instead of gasoline.

My family also deserves a lot of credit. Everyone has been working hard to grow in their lives and I think it shows. There are a lot of ways to work on oneself besides meditating. I’m proud of the work everyone put in over the last year. I’m happy that everyone was in a good place this year.

Intellectually I can’t fully understand it, but it does seem like Vipassana is healing and improving relationships in subtle or unknown ways. This practice has a magical component to it that’s both fun and exciting. Part of me believes that as long as I keep meditating life will continue to evolve in the best way possible. I feel connected to my path and excited about the future. 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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