¨I am a busy person, i just can’t find the time to meditate¨
Sounds familiar? It is important to have a regular sitting practice of a relatively long duration, but if you don’t, do not think the the magic of Mindfulness is out of your reach.It only takes a few seconds of attention throughout the day to be able to start to reap some of the rewards of Mindfulness.That is all it takes to learn about what is happening inside, which is a big part of what Mindfulness does for us.
Formal practices like meditation and asana work to sharpen the tool of our mind.
Then the real work comes in every moment of everyday, as we go about our aily duties and interact with the world around us.The brain is extremely good at being efficient, It takes in over 4 billion bits of information per second, but it’s only able to send 2200 bits to the cortex for processing.This demonstrates that we don’t really see the world as it is; rather we see the wand as we are. Two ways to uncover these automatic patterns and increase our ability to perceive differently
are mindfulness and utilizing the reflections at other people in relationship. Mindfulness is like a zoom lens that helps us to examine all the layers of patterning inside us. Relationship is an
external mirror that gives us a set at eyes outside of us. When combined. we are able to tray see ourselves inside and out.
One of my teachers is fond of saying. ¨life is one big long sloppy probe.”
Life is constantly poking and prodding us to help us to see where we currently stand. All day long we get a chance to look at our stories, our automatic behaviour, patterning, and reactions.This is where the magic of mindfulness is most useful. otherwise we continue on autopilot. Some might think unnecessary to waste any time looking at these things. we should only locus on the positive and light. However, by looking at the things in us that we do not want to look at, our shadow can often reveal many of our automatic behaviours. Personally, I have used the veil of calling myself a “spiritual person” as a cover for not seeing some of the things I think and do that are. let’s just say. less than divine.
One way to see the importance oi looking at our patterns comes from the yogic concepts of praritii and purusha.
Deﬁned simply, purusha is pure consciousness or the seer. Prakriti is all that is not that – nature, matter. our mental patterns. what is manifest. I once thought we needed to just strive for purity of consciousness.but I have learned that to do that. it is necessary to look at and
know all of our prakriti. It is the prakriti that we have to work within this life and it is through knowing our prakriti that we can know purusha. It is sort of like cleaning the mirror – you have to ﬁrst know the mirror is dirty, then you need to know what kind of dirty it is in order to grab the right types of cleaners. then you have to work to clean the mirror before you can see the pure reflection
underneath. When we can look at all of our patterning. we can ﬁnd all the things that are not us, in order to see what is really us.
So, if we are going to look at ourselves through the lens of mindfulness in every moment, it is especially important to remember to be kind, gentle, and compassionate with ourselves.
When we really start to look at ourselves in this way. honestly and thoroughly, it is easy to get down on ourselves. We must remember that everything is perfect and rigit – there is nothing
“wrong” with us. And it is not just a good idea to be gentle with ourselves because it feels good, rather it is through loving the darker parts of ourselves that they lose power. When we hate
them or ignore them. we just fuel them. By choosing to look at and accept our automatic responses throughout the day. we gain more awareness of our nature (prakriti) Which leads to more
freedom and more choice in not being bound by it.
The richest moments for us to use mindfulness are in every moment of every day
When we are engaging with the world and the good news is that it doesn’t take long periods of time.the good news is that it doesn’t take long periods of time. Our brains are quick! It is engaging with the world and in relationship with other people that our patterns are most active. By tuning in to what is really happening inside, we can start to recognize when we are on auto-pilot and when we are responding with conscious awareness and choice. Through internal self-study of a regular mindfulness practice. using moments Of mindfulness throughout our day. and combining that with studying our interactions with people and our world, we can get the complete view of our system.
By looking at all these layers and embracing them with love and acceptance. our patterning loses its strength. It brings our shadow into the light, and then we are not controlled by it and we are able to be our true selves. By shining the light of mindfulness on all the things that are not us, we are able to see them more clearly. give them less power, and then start to see who we really are.
Source: Chuck Hancock for the yoga connection magazine.