On Mindfulness

  • I had planned a short, one day trip. I was looking forward to a new place, eating out, sleeping in a hotel and lounging around. A chain of circumstances deprived me of that day off. It came to nothing. There was not a big disaster or a drama, nevertheless I felt very disappointed, even angry and irritated because of it. My diligent mind came immediately with some help to pacify these feelings; it elaborated some explanations and accusations. That’s how the mind works; it tells stories, stories about faults and merits, about the guilty and the innocent. So it blamed some people and circumstances and it told me to count my blessings and not ponder over a trivial pleasure that I lost. It turned the event and my experience into a story taking me on a trip far from the here and now. And this trip can last days. A banal, little disappointment can cause a weeks-long trial. But if I turn away from the protective thoughts and I shake off the story I simply sense a discomfort in my body. I feel a clog in my chest and energy draining away. And I don’t need to justify or diminish it. It is enough to be honest about it. It is enough to feel it, to pay attention to it and be mindful of it. My body knows how to accommodate and reconcile these emotions if only I don’t suppress them with the story. It will help me to respond to the event adequately and consciously at the moment. This is the beauty of mindfulness.

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