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I’m almost 60. The experience of meditation has been reminding me of accomplishments of when I was a child. But, more important, they describe the combination of the three qualities of mind: contracting or exacting, expanding or opening, and free, uncluttered, and spacious.

Floating on one’s back in water is one example. To do so requires a stiffness in the body as well as an ease (contracting and expanding at the same time). It also requires trust – or learning to trust the buoyancy of one’s body and the support of the water. Again, this is an example of loosening the contracting, security driven mind such that ease in the mind in the form of trust and exploration can replace it.

Riding a bike with no hands is another example. Exacting balance combined with open arms which create a different type of balance make it happen. Of course, we sprinkle in a little trust and daring! The experience is of of freedom, a zone of peace and refined presence that, even as a kid, we could experience.

Meditation is like this: a particular combining of factors to accomplish a result. The trick with meditation is the same with floating in water or riding a bike: each experience is unique and brand new. But, just like the childhood examples, with practice the variations of moment are navigated with ease and little thought. Again, we have combined exacting or contracting, expanding and opening, and the spacious qualities of mind.

Downloadable podcast: Childlike