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After another conversation about the tranquility – contentment meditation I was exploring the idea of having each person choose their own words to insert into the meditation sequence. The meditation verbal part was to begin with, “In this moment I choose to be tranquil with all that I was before this moment.” Perhaps some people might prefer a synonym, such as: serene, placid, calm, peaceful, quiet, still, silent, soft, gentle, restful, cool, composed collected. And for the contentment with the world external to me, “I choose in this moment to be content with all that is external to me,” with alternate synonyms, such as: contented, satisfied, gratified, pleased, gladdened, comfortable, cozy, snug, easy, restful.

Some of these synonyms drift away from my basic concepts. For example, the word tranquil, and the idea being to move toward tranquility, is like a pond having a disturbance which causes a scurrying of ripples, that as the moments pass exhaust themselves and return to a smooth state with zero energy being wasted in useless activity.

Others might like to explore negative sentiments like: anger, despair, melancholy, but I wouldn’t like to go there. After one of our sessions with a small group of less than a dozen it would be interesting for people to discuss the words they used in their personal meditation and the results they got from consciously meditating on them for a few minutes. It would seem that the experiment would bring them closer to those feelings, and permit the actions associated with them to become easier to perform. Or contrary to that idea, those people meditating on fear, pain, and threatening ideas, would come away with feelings of helplessness and that would in turn generate despair, and frozen inaction. Or simply total freedom to choose your own path.

It might be appropriate to not suggest any words of meditation whatsoever for this exercise, not even the idea that previously we had done tranquility and contentment.