Dan Nussbaum - You Have Permission (inspiring essay)

10 May 2015 7:00 AM | Tim Burnett (Administrator)

I often read this essay in the day retreats for the Introduction to Mindfulness class. It was passed to me by someone and I haven't been able to find out much about Mr. Nussbaum beyond that he's a meditation teacher in Los Angeles (here's a profile page on him) but I do thank him for writing it - very helpful.

You Have Permission

by Dan Nussbaum

You have permission to do the meditation practice you've been doing all along. You have permission  to believe in it or question it or enjoy it or let it take you where it takes you. You have permission to be bored. How else will you ever get to the bottom of boredom? You have permission to try something else.

You have permission to think. You have permission to worry. You have permission to wonder if you're doing it right.

You have permission to wonder what doing it right means. You have permission to see yourself wondering. Did you start meditation to become a good meditator? You have permission to do it wrong. But if you have permission to do it wrong, how can you do it wrong? You have permission to be bad.

You have permission to remember what it was like to be carefree. You have permission to doubt those memories. You have permission to get back to those memories whether you made them up or not. You have permission to know how you make up memories.

You have permission to go over German verbs. You have permission to think about the different grades of motor oil. You have permission to wonder, How is this meditation? You have permission to note body sensations. You have permission to do something else with body sensations. Love them. Be suspicious of them.  Forbid them. Give them meaning. Question that meaning.

You have permission to have feelings. You have permission to need someone, to worry out of habit, to fear vaguely, to feel disgust, to insist on getting things your way.  You have permission to let things go on. You have permission to find yourself in unexpected mind states.

You have permission to get lost. You have permission to be curious and interested. You have permission to get transfixed. You have permission to feel calm. You have permission to feel sleepy. You have permission to sleep. How else will you know about waking up if you don't have permission to be asleep?

You have permission to know yourself in meditation.

You have permission. You have permission. You have permission.


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