When people ask for advice about the spiritual path, or anything really, I almost always mention mindfulness. A better word for it that Eckhart Tolle uses is Presence.
When you are mindful, you are aware of your mind. You aren’t using your mind but you are watching your mind. If you watch your mind, letting it go to and fro, you will see things as they happen. This changes everything.
If you can be present and watch as a negative emotion enters into you, it becomes infinitely easier to let that emotion go. Why? Because you saw it come from somewhere else. So you KNOW it isn’t you.
However, when you’re in the thick of life, going going going, and something happens and you react with a rage that feels just, then you confuse yourself for your anger. You take on the identity of that negative emotion. You falsely believe that it has its root in you.
That is the beauty of mindfulness. Neo in the Matrix can only dodge bullets because he can SEE them as they are coming! He doesn’t wait until a bullet has hit him before trying to twist out of the way. This is like mindfulness…sort of.
The same applies to thoughts. When you are so intensely present, like a samurai attending to the movements of his opponent’s blade, then you will see thoughts come and go. You can see them as they arrive. Because of that, you KNOW they don’t come from you. It makes them easier to watch depart.
The problem with most people is that when thoughts and feelings come, they start toying with them. Either out of boredom or out of ego. They think about their thoughts, coming up with more thoughts and feelings about those thoughts. Same with feelings, more thoughts and feelings. All the while this process keeps the individual blind to the peace of the self.
Peace isn’t an emotion. It’s the feeling of existence, unhindered.
When you meditate, you fall through the skin of thoughts and emotions. You become the space in which thoughts and emotions occur.
Mindfulness continues this experience in daily life. It maintains your meditation practice and sanity.
And like Neo, when you’re ready, you wont even have to dodge the bullets. :P
Take that to the bank, my friends!
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