Many of us speak about our “relationships” with our Higher Power, whatever that may be, but how many of us spend our time asking for things instead of for the power to do things, as in the Third Step Prayer. (Look it up: page 63 in the AA Big Book.)
How many of us spend our time telling H.P. what we want, asking for advice, but then never shut up long enough to hear any answers? What kind of relationship is that? That doesn’t even work with humans! Continue reading →
“There is nothing passive about mindfulness. One might even say that it expresses a specific kind of passion—a passion for discerning what is subjectively real in every moment. It is a mode of cognition that is, above all, undistracted, accepting, and (ultimately) nonconceptual. Being mindful is not a matter of thinking more clearly about experience; it is the act of experiencing more clearly, including the arising of thoughts themselves.
“Mindfulness is a vivid awareness of whatever is appearing in one’s mind or body—thoughts, sensations, moods—without grasping at the pleasant or recoiling from the unpleasant. One of the great strengths of this technique of meditation is that it does not require us to adopt any cultural affectations or unjustified beliefs. It simply demands that we pay close attention to the flow of experience in each moment.”
Those who add careful observation to what they see and serious reflection to what they read are on the road to wisdom instead of opinion.
Contemplation is a practice that reaches back before written history, but it is a life skill that is sorely neglected today in Western culture. In order to make sense of our lives we need time to consider and reflect, time away from phones, work, and the myriad interruptions that plague our daily lives. We need time to let ourselves absorb and make sense of all the information that has come our way.
Human beings are extremely good at acquiring data, but not all that accurate in our interpretations unless we take time to think about it. Quick decisions are an asset when we’re relatively unarmed soft-skinned creatures creeping through the jungle, but not so effective in our complicated, modern world with its vast flow of information that needs to be interpreted before it can be successfully applied.Continue reading →