Reacting and Responding

When we have any kind of experience or sensation, we usually immediately react. We react without thinking or deciding how to respond. We have a lot of autopilot responses that just sort of happen. So sometimes things bother us because we expect them to. If you’ve ever met someone who reminds you of someone else, you know what I’m talking about. We can get immediate feelings about someone and make all sorts of assumptions just because they remind us of someone else.

If we can learn how to stop and pay attention, we may come to a totally different feeling or action in response to something. Sometimes we don’t even know where our reactions come from. If we can learn to have a moment of pause, in between stimulus and response, then there’s a lot of freedom there. We can choose how we respond to things instead of being on autopilot all the time.

That’s part of what meditation is about. We want to find that pause. We want to take that moment to consider how to respond instead of just reacting all the time. With meditation we’re training our minds to see how they work. There is a lot of power in this.



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