Allowing yourself to just be with yourself – Jon Kabat-Zinn Quote

It takes a while to get comfortable with the richness of allowing yourself to just be with your own mind. It’s a little like meeting an old friend for the first time in years. There may be some awkwardness in the beginning, not knowing who this person is anymore, not knowing quite how to be with him or her. It may take some time to reestablish the bond, to refamiliarize yourselves with each other. (Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ch. 4)

This is perhaps the hardest aspect of meditation. Kabat-Zinn suggests that it passes, but after 4 years of meditating it is still there in my daily practice. There is always a resistance to just sitting and staying with what is.

When you think about it, it’s a bit sad. If it is tough to stay with yourself for 15 minutes, are you taking care of yourself? 15 minutes isn’t that much. Even 45 minutes (which is what the MBSR mindfulness course works towards) is not really that much.

Kabat-Zinn’s approach here is positive: take the time to get to know yourself, by simply sitting and looking at what happens. You will find inner richness. The wealth of getting familiar with yourself.