There are no facts, only interpretations-
When I began walking my current path, my motivation was existential …
I struggled each painful morning to answer burning questions such as Who am I? What is my true nature? What is the nature of the world around me? These questions still linger to this day, although meditation practice and mindfulness practice in particular, have helped to define the path unfolding in front of me.
During a painful period recently, with profound feelings of sadness. In one sense, I tried to be gentle with myself, allowing my body ample time before engaging it fully. As time went on, motivated by the desire to be fully alive and fully functioning, I began to observe closely just how my pain constituted and unfolded, how I participated in it, and how my attentiveness and lack of it affected “things.“
When I was aware and mindful, I would be feeling fine and then – within a moments notice … I would find myself back at the start. When I was able to both engage and observe, I could begin to see that my experience began as a kind of spasm, a contraction, a rushed breathe. I could notice (however arduous as it was to stay present) how my manner of paying attention, what I attended to and how, could either accelerate or decelerate the rhythm of the process.
Attention to the process is what meditation brings to my life, especially when the dynamic themes play, like a broken record.
We may not be able to control what arises each and every day. However we do have a say in how we respond, moment to moment … These fruits of daily life, can be liberating.
Do not ruin today with mourning tomorrow-
I’ve managed to stay relatively injury free this year by self-imposing a balance between unexciting “things” and exciting “things“. At home and away from my play outdoors I limit my larder to unexciting events – cleaning up, emptying the dish washer and mowing the yard.
Lately I’ve realized I need to apply the same approach to all areas of my life. I tend to gravitate towards highly stimulating play, conversation and work the way I gravitate toward fine wine and delectable treats. I spoil myself with action, and going too hard physically. I often fail at times to seek flow, the high-stimulation thrill of doing at exciting speed whatever I feel like. To keep myself from becoming jaded, I need to compensate for my highly stimulated actions by deliberately cultivating my ability to find stillness, awareness and comfort.
My trick? Mindfulness exercise: Sitting in a quiet place as I intently watch my breath. A stimulating thought arises in my mind from a recent conversation with a close friend. I gently say “This is just a thought – A wish” . Mindfulness practice keeps my body and mind focused. How do you find balance between unexciting and exciting – I’m curious?!?
One last note, Love helps as well …
If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart-
If through practicing mindfulness, we practice letting go of thoughts – hopefully? We need another practice for letting thoughts in, getting comfortable with threats from soccer moms, the risks associated with yoga class, discouraging and difficult thoughts during a recent early morning run. We need to exercise our ability to comprehend the tedious, harsh and more discouraging thoughts we encounter during the day more so than blasting reps and sets in a gym. Without ever practicing letting thoughts in? We tend to interpret the world through the lens of easy, wishful thinking …
We need to be brave enough to take our shoes off, expose our knackered and worn toenails to step confidently into dark, discouraging and confusing waters in our quests for uncertain gratification.
It’s not enough to be able to dismiss all the “thoughts” we process and return to the here and now as “mindfulness” practice encourages. Seriously folks – Please read the last sentence again. This is where many people get mindfulness wrong, horribly wrong: Mindfulness practice is most attractive and helpful to people who succumb to the weight of negative thoughts and feelings.
Consider that most often mindfulness is meant to discourage, discouragement.
You may be able to tell I am clearly frustrated with the current view, adopted by so many in regards to mindfulness. The power of neutral-thinking, an ability to, in effect pre-grieve the possibilities of not having the latest yoga fashion(s) so that we aren’t scared of living without them, limbering our minds much the way we learn to breathe into and surrender to the searing burn of a stretched hamstring during chair pose.
By letting thoughts in, we have already visited failure, humiliation and injury. We are prepared to contemplate deeply even when it’s not cool or trendy. Here’s the harsh truth that many yogis, blog posts and tired yoga magazine articles fail to provide us: Mindfulness practice is not believing you can ward off undesirable outcomes by not thinking about them.
All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything-
There is only one universal concept that brings everyone -everything together in this beautiful world – Oneness.
The concept of oneness and being part of a vast, infinitely elaborate web of interconnectedness is not a new concept. Let’s pause and think about this for a moment. When we arrive at yoga class (just one example – embrace any event) it was our decision alone to be there, to show up, unfurling our mat(s) and opening ourselves up to the limitless possibilities we are about to explore. Oneness is a unifying concept that has survived even in our neomanic world. You can physically feel the energy flowing during class if you open your body and mind, allowing “oneness” to fill your spirit.
Too many people are living in a dystopian world, embracing illusions of separation, “me” first – Sadly.
Focused intention on living our daily lives with oneness at the forefront of our thoughts? Will be reflected in everything we do, during yoga class or while stuck in traffic. Welcome to reality …