The tale of the awkward monk

A few years ago, I had a strange encounter with a monk. Well, she wasn’t a monk monk. But she had trained with them for decades.

It showed. The moment you heard her spoke (or maybe even before then), you got the sense of someone who meditates.

She was calm and deliberate. Focused, too – when she looked at you as she spoke, she really looked. Like there was nothing else worth paying attention to.

She was very zen.

So we got to talking about meditation, naturally. It was insightful and I learned a lot.

There’s only one wrinkle, though:

We got talking about it because she interrupted someone else. He was talking about some chronic health concerns of his… and she cut him off midsentence.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Some folk go on about their health. Sure, you sympathise, but after 30 minutes of graphic and sad details, you kinda want a break from that.

Except this wasn’t that. He’d only just brought it up.

Interrupting someone is rude at the best of times. This wasn’t what I’d call the best of times…

This is a common paradox among some hardcore meditators:

They intensify their inner world, but wind up with flat personalities.

They do a lot of lovingkindness meditation, only to ignore the obvious suffering around them.

This woman knows more about meditation than I do, except in one key area.

Arguably, the only area that matters:

How to do it and retain your humanity.

Enlightenment is a perilous road. For some travellers, it makes them less interested in ol’ samsara. They drift inwards and seem to check out from reality.

That’s not what all meditation leads to. For many folk, the deeper inside they go, the more human they become. They awaken this mesmerising personality and have a way of looking at you that’s addictive.

I wanted to awaken without leaving the world behind, so I focused on that from the start. It took some research and experimentation, because not a lot of people teach this. Still, through either luck or genius, I figured out the basics.

And I’m happy to share with you how it works.

How to meditate and become more captivating to folk, not an emotionless, distant zombie.

It’s not hard, but it does involve learning some specific skills.

It’s never too early (and, I hope, never too late) to focus on this – on how to be more human as you connect with your unconscious.

That’s why this is the best way to learn meditation, and a whole lot more besides:

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