“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.”
I was just browsing Instagram and found the following:
“The moment you doubt whether you can
fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”
I see this kind of New Agey stuff frequently. It’s indicative of the lack of attention we give to the things we post and the messages we send. I’m sure that the woman who posted it saw the aphorism someplace and thought “Oh, inspiring,” then posted it without further thought.
But what is the underlying message? If you get discouraged, quit; it isn’t going to happen. If we applied that philosophy to life most of us addicts would be dead now (or wish we were) and very little would get accomplished in general. Continue reading →
Five years ago, almost to the minute when I’m writing this, I had a life-changing experience. It doesn’t matter what it was, but trust me, it was one of those moments that you never forget. Continue reading →
We say things like, “That was the turning point in my life.” What do we mean? Do we mean that life created a sequence of events that changed our direction? Do we mean that we made a decision that led to a big change, or do we mean that “Fate” or a “Higher Power” intervened to create a new path?Continue reading →
We exist only in the present, and we need to learn to live in the present. We can’t affect the past, and we have no way of knowing what effect we may have on the future. We need to do our living today, concentrate on the present moment — on doing the next right thing — and let the future take care of itself. If we are always thinking about tomorrow, next week, next year — the next raise, romance, promotion or what have you, we are unlikely to do well at work, love, or life in general.
Every change we make in our lives affects the future, sometimes in big ways, and sometimes in small ones. I can’t know whether failing to buy new shoelaces today will result in a dangerous fall tomorrow. Continue reading →
I know that I’ve written about this before, but I had a few more thoughts.
If we examine our lives, all too often we may discover that we are “humans doing,” rather than simply humans being. Many of us find ourselves extremely resistant to slowing down and going with the flow — accepting what the world sends us without trying to live at top speed and influence every nuance of our lives. Perhaps we learned to speed through life because we became convinced somehow that we didn’t measure up in some way, that we had to race to some ephemeral destination to succeed, and that if we could only get there, we’d be okay.
“Every man is a bit player in every drama but his own.” ~ Moss Hart
The desire to control what others think of us is distracting. We concentrate on what we imagine that they think, try to improve on that, and forget who we really are.
But what others think is none of our business, and trying to control it is fruitless. The life that we really lead is what determines who we are to others; the important thing is what we think of ourselves. Giving up our grand role in our own story, looking within, and living a mindful life is the way to resolve the question, “Who am I.”