Mindfulness & You
Mindfulness and You
I’m interested in sharing some of your stories – if you would like to? I usually share my own insights and journey and whilst people find that useful, I know there are people who have had rewarding (and life changing) ‘mindfulness journeys’ over the past few years, so if you would like to share your story and experience in our October Newsletter, please do – it can be short or long, anonymous or not – you may just inspire someone else to progress with their own journey. Please let me know if you would like to – you can reply to this email email@example.com
While I was thinking about asking that question I started to think of the ways in which mindfulness is applied/used/effective, and how we come to it often due to some sort of crisis – large or small – but large enough to warrant an ‘intervention’ of some type, and a change of mindset and lifestyle.
The journey will be different for each of us but there are three distinct phases to it:
- Therapeutic Intervention
- Wellbeing Maintenance
- Spiritual Path
The phases are not mutually exclusive, they overlap and intertwine, life is a dance whose tune is always changing. We can begin the journey at any of these ‘entry points’ and we may or may not progress through the stages. If we come to the practice as a therapeutic intervention due to anxiety for example, we might stop practising when we start to feel better – as a result of stopping our health and wellbeing may or may not deteriorate, depending on how much of the meditation practice we have ‘banked’ and the extent to which we have ‘re-wired’ our brain.
Either way, mindfulness may well have opened us up to an alternative, more meaningful way of ‘being’ in the world. We might start exploring other avenues to maintain wellbeing and look for a spiritual path elsewhere. If we decide to stay with the practice the rewards will be unlimited, not only will we maintain our new-found health and wellbeing, we may also begin to see mindfulness as the spiritual path we have (consciously or non-consciously) been seeking.
The spiritual path is one of deeper connection to our self, other human and non-human beings, and of course, to the greatest being of all, the Earth that sustains all life. We come to see the web of life in all of its glory, understanding the chains of cause and effect that play out and as we see these more clearly, we begin to take full responsibility for the architecture of our life knowing that each thought, word and action is creating our future.
Sometimes we come to mindfulness and get a bit more than we bargain for – it opens doors to deeper thought, feeling and experience and once that happens there is no ‘going back’. Once we wake up, there is no going back to sleep. We can’t un-know, what we know. I guess the thought of this sometimes frightens people and prevents them from doing the work of looking deeply into self, which is a great pity because the rewards are magnificent. As we relinquish our need to suffer, we open the door to greater joy and happiness, the spiritual path is about nourishing our joy so that we can ripple that out into the world, it is about nourishing our peace, so that permeates into the world and generally accessing more love and kindness within, to share that with all ‘beings’.
Along the way we practice alone and we connect with teachers and peer groups, and we support one another with our breath and our intentions to practice, we read and discuss, journal and study, in order to make sense of our life and experiences. Calling on someone who has more understanding or experience is a necessary part of the process and immersing our self in the practice, for extended periods of time on retreat, are also essential if we want to go deeper and reap the rewards. I was fortunate to have the opportunity over the summer to be able to do just this – as a teacher it is essential to continue to learn and grow in the practice, because it ensures we bring our best to those we share the path with. In these uncertain times it is important that we all do our best to bring more peace, more joy and more love into the world – that is something we can all do.
Please let me know if you would like to share some aspect of your personal journey in next month’s newsletter firstname.lastname@example.org 07855 491485