Content in the Center: Exploring the Buddha’s Middle Way

During a 5-day meditation retreat I led in West Virginia earlier last month, I had an interesting insight:

After speaking with many different students, what occurred to me is that no matter what each of us is currently struggling with, we all seem to be seeking a sense of balance in the midst of all the chaos – whether this is our own personal chaos, or the chaos that’s happening all around us.

I also noticed a related struggle, which involves our ongoing effort to strike a good balance between being there for others, while at the same time being there for ourselves.

And, in almost all cases, what’s actually the most helpful for us is to find and nurture a place of rest, right in the center of all of it – good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant.

So, since that retreat ended, I’ve been thinking a lot about what the Buddha called The Middle Way, which is actually how he described the entirety of his teachings.

In fact, the Middle Way was not only what he discovered when he became enlightened, but it was also the way that he got there, to enlightenment itself.

And the idea is that: the more we practice the Buddha’s Middle Way, the more realize that contentment resides at the very center of our wanting and not wanting, and, at the center of our indulgence or deprivation. 

This month’s talk, Content in the Center: Exploring the Buddha’s Middle Way, addresses how we can use our meditation practice to “walk in the middle” more often, and discover more joy, ease, and balance in our lives. 

It includes a meditation at the end. As always, I hope that it will serve. 

Also, just few heads up:

1) After many years, I’ve finally and happily given in to requests for a WEEKLONG RETREAT, and will be offering one next year Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 2024 at the wonderful Peterkin Conference Center in Romney, WV: 5 WAYS TO LET GO: Releasing the 5 Hindrances. Registration is now open!

2) The next daylong retreat in Berryville, VA, on Dec. 9, FULL SURRENDER: Learning to Ride the Wavesis now more than 2/3 full!

3) I’ll only be offering two in-person workshops next year … starting with an 8-week course on The Four Foundations of Mindfulness Jan. 7 – Feb. 5, 2024 in Winchester, VA. Spots are limited!

In the meantime, I hope you might join me soon!

With joy and kind wishes, ~ Shell