"Mindfulness Practice isn't just about escaping to some magical inner realm devoid of life's challenges. The Practice is about calming your mind and opening your heart enough to engage Life directly, to be more fully Present in a kind, clear, and helpful way."

Your MMM Courtesy Wake Up Call! The Musings of a Long-time Student of Meditation

Monday, August 12, 2019

Trouble in Mind

"Trouble in mind, babe, I'm blue,
but I won't be blue always
Yes, the sun gonna shine,
in my back door someday
-- Big Bill Broonzy, "Trouble in Mind"

“When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent,
dynamic nature of your own being and of reality,
you increase your capacity to love and care about other people
and your capacity to not be afraid."
-- Pema Chödrön, Practicing Peace in Times of War


Over the years I've learned that labeling a particular meditation session "good" or "bad" is missing the point.  

Although I certainly notice my own tendency to prefer the pleasant sensations of a bright, calm, and spacious quality of consciousness over the claustrophobic feeling tones of a doom and gloom melodrama or the buzzy feeling of endless discursive prattle, I've learned that this is precisely where Practice begins.  When I open beyond my reflexive reaction and just sit with the unfolding experience, things shift.  It is there that insight and healing emerge.

I suppose this is a primary lesson of Mindfulness 101.  A whole lot of needless suffering seems to emerge from our conditioned habit of mindlessly grasping onto the pleasant and reflexively rejecting the unpleasant.  Bringing that entire process into the light of Mindfulness, opening to the fluidity of our own actual experience and the underlying energies involved, a new world emerges.

Sometimes we see quite clearly that the "trouble in mind" is "merely" mindstuff.  Created in the cauldron of our subconscious, it has no real substance.  It is quite ephemeral.  Oftentimes, it is just held in place by the narrative dominating our thinking at the moment. 

When we are able to let go of what Pema Chodron calls "the story line," the underlying feelings can be experienced as the changing, shifting energies that they are.  Sometimes, just noticing that I'm thinking has changed things immediately.  In a heartbeat, I've seen the blues dissolve, the world expand,  and the sun return to my back door.  

At other times,  there are more deeply troubled waters involved.  Mindfulness Practice then becomes the bridge to a deeper understanding. 
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Over time, we become more able to shift our focus from the habitual thoughts that emerge and learn to stay with emotions and energies of the experience.  Gently and courageously opening our hearts and minds to the "blues" as they are embodied in our own experience, we come to see their nature.  Relaxing and opening to what isa new sense of ease and appreciation emerges. 


When we aren't always attempting to dam the river of life, to make it conform to our own agenda, the flow gets to be even more deeply interesting and worthwhile.  

At times, that river dances and sparkles, reflecting the brilliant sun. At other times the river glowers. consuming storm clouds as it broils downstream.  It is still the river, ceaselessly flowing.

Staying with the Practice at a certain point, we see that we, too, are the river.  So is everyone else.  At that point, True Love becomes increasingly possible. 

It just takes Practice.


1 comment:

Don Karp said...

You mentioned "the blues." I am glad we got to jam some in your place.

love you, Bro'!