violet flower
Ideas Presented in Chapter 2

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[600 words]

Idea #8: Natural Functions are Low Input, High Output

We close this chapter with a word about our sponsor, nature. The effects of meditation are complex and far-reaching, yet they are elicited with extreme effortlessness. The meditative attention necessary to elicit and cultivate the meditative function is as simple and transparent as spring water. The pairing of simple input with magnificent output rarely comes from human invention, yet it emerges from nature at every turn. Take water as an example. Our lives are soaked in water. We cannot go much more than a week in temperate conditions without drinking something potable made of water. The effect of having it in our tissues is nothing less than life itself, yet the process of getting it into our tissues could not be simpler—lift a cup and drink. Natural functions:

We put a morsel in the mouth, chew and swallow—nature builds our body. We lie down on a bed and close our eyes—nature restores our body and mind. We let air into our mouths—we live another minute. We walk three miles in an hour—nature conditions our heart, lungs, nerves and muscles for action. We drop a seed into dirt and call ourselves a gardener—nature does the rest and makes a plant. We have sexual contact, call ourselves lovers—nature does the rest and (sometimes) makes a new human being.

Simple. Complex.Wide-ranging. Spontaneous. Natural Meditation fits the profile. It is elicited by a simple intention to meditate. It consists of a complex set of mental and physical effects during the sitting. After the sitting of meditation is finished, it produces wide-ranging rejuvenation and growth, yet it does so spontaneously without our conscious intention.

It can even bring benefits in areas that are unexpected... A man gets into meditation to become less stressed at work and after three months becomes enthusiastic about a charitable program being run in his neighborhood; he gets very involved and even finds that his involvement adds some stress to his life, yet it feels good to be involved this way; on an evening of reflection about this, he recalls that he began meditating to reduce stress and yet he still has it; it seems that he is going in the wrong direction in his program to chill out…

The effects of natural functions cannot be chopped up and packaged exactly to our specifications. Meditation’s natural work is holistic, reaching to all corners of our life. The spring water of meditation trickles into the whole being.

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