Is This the Path?

When my practice starts to feel stale, or rote, or like a chore, it’s time to ask myself again—is this the path I want to walk? I need to dig deep and remind myself why my Vipassana meditation practice is so important to me, to tap into the inspiration I need to continue devoting 2 hours a day to meditating.

I need to remind myself that my most fundamental goal in this life is to be the most loving person I can be. After I remind myself of that, it’s pretty simple. My next thought is, oh yeah, duh—my Vipassana meditation practice is the best way I know how to pursue that goal. This thought process actually helped me a great deal yesterday morning when I didn’t feel like sitting, and I wanted to move on with my day after getting up a little late. I recognized in that instant just how at odds my impatience was with my desire to be loving. I realized that if I want to be loving, it would behoove me to start my day by connecting with my deepest intentions and cultivating my awareness and equanimity. And moreover, if my utmost goal is to be loving, what could be more important on my to do list than…pursuing being loving?? (again— duh)

Beyond the abstract goal of being the most loving person I can be, I remind myself that I am committed to figuring out how to build a successful dhamma household with Ryan as the foundation for our lives and relationship. We want to find others who share this goal, so we can all reaffirm and support each other in walking the dhamma path in this complex world. This is how I want to bring light into the world.

“Start again.” — Goenkaji

Have a great day!

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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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