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  • Writer's picturejon walker

Zappa on parachutes

“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open.” Frank Zappa

I love that quote. And I used to bask in a self-satisfied glow knowing that my mind was open, or at least that is what my mind kept telling me. Then I started meditating. By getting quiet and really taking the time to see the mind in action, it was apparent that my “open” mind was pretty clogged up with resentments, reactivity, worry and self-judgement. Not to mention every one of the over 200 cognitive biases listed on the wiki page!

One of the most profound—and sobering—gifts of mindfulness is to begin to see all that more clearly, and then to begin to work with what you find (hopefully with lots of compassion and kindness). Of course, the other sobering thing is that you quickly realize that the work is never ending. But that is a gift too, because it makes every moment of our lives more engaging—everything becomes an opportunity to practice that lasts well into our dotage. So I wish you well as you unfurl your parachute, one tangled cord at a time!

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