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Mindfulness and Rules for Meditation, Sports, and Life

Updated: Oct 2, 2021

The following attitudes on meditation are taken from Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana. I recommend everyone read this book.

The process of meditation is delicate and the result depends entirely on your the state of mind. Bhante writes rules for meditation in Chapter 4. These rules, written below, should be adapted not just to meditation but to all of your athletic endeavors and to life if you wish to be successful and at peace.

Follow these rules in all of your athletic pursuits and in life:

1. Don't Expect Anything

"Treat the whole thing as an experiment...don't be anxious for any result whatsoever". Your best performances will come when you least expect it.

2. Don't Strain

"Don't force anything...Just let your effort be relaxed and steady". Straining will lead to injury and poor performance. Your best performances will feel easy. Run easy. Never run hard.

3. Don't Rush

"There is no hurry, so take your time...Anything really valuable takes time to develop". Rushing won't get you anywhere faster. You will stumble.

4. Don't cling to anything, and don't reject anything

"Let come what comes...make yourself comfortable with whatever happens...don't fight with what you experience".

5. Let go

"Learn to flow...Loosen up and relax".

6. Accept everything that arises

"Accept your experiences even the ones you hate...don't condemn yourself...exercise a disinterested acceptance at all times." Top Ironman athletes and tennis players on the tour are able to follow this rule.

7. Be kind to yourself

"Be gentle with may not be perfect, but you are all you've got to work with".

8. View all problems as challenges

Success is a series of failures. Look at negatives as chances to learn and grow. Rejoice, dive in, and investigate problems.

9. Don't dwell upon contrasts

Don't dwell upon differences between people. So what if he or she appears bigger, stronger, faster, more physical in appearance. Rather than note differences with your competitors and judge yourself against them, notice your similarities.

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