When was the last time you went without checking your phone for more than just the time that you were asleep? Can you remember the last time you spent an entire day without your computer? Maybe not! It's interesting to reflect on this for a moment.
Mindfulness, recognition and awareness, are all forms of connection. True connection contains generosity and generosity of mind and spirit allows us to connect with others and to ourselves, in kindness and with care. It's a wonderful cycle that can be easily sparked by intention, attention and practice.
Deep within us is space -- call it spiritual space, empty space, metaphorical space, psychic space. We can intuit it, know it, ignore it, run from it, embrace it, and fill it. There are as many ways to live in our internal space as there are unique human beings with colorful personalities, needs, desires and pasts.
Listening sometimes means hearing a lot of noise. New practitioners of meditation can attest to this. Sit down, turn your attention inwardly and the sound of a million disparate voices, songs and static fill your awareness.
As it is holiday season it might be a good idea to consider expanding your idea of practice so that it includes some skillful means - whether you are with friends, framily, work colleagues, family of origin or even alone.
What happens when we are not fully rooted in our bodies, but free floating in our thinking minds? It can be an uncomfortable scenario that I'll illustrate with metaphors to share what I mean. Imagine your thinking mind is just like a balloon - then, imagine the balloon being blown around in a sky full of thunderstorms - not that great of a picture! Imagine the thinking mind as a balloon getting caught in a hurricane, or frozen in a snowstorm either way, it's not easy to stay afloat, or not be damaged, nor is it easy to have any kind of ground to land on. It's completely unsafe and harrowing to be a like a (thinking mind) balloon in these situations, imagine the stress and fatigue!
Even with over 20 years of meditation practice, I recently re-discovered just how attached I am to my face. Yes, the pun is that we are all attached to our face, it is part of our head, but what the pun insinuates but doesn't explore is just how emotionally attached I (we as the case may be) am to my face until some recent surgery showed me the hidden extent of it.
Here's what I have come to know as a fairly universal contemporary problem - many of us are a bit too tough on ourselves. We criticize our looks, our thoughts and emotions, our progress on the spiritual path, our practice quantity and quality. And, the fact is, that it's not helpful!
Our breath is a most nuanced and intimate guide to our psyches, and following its behavior is a revealing and direct path to understanding our deepest selves. Observing our own breath or observing someone else’s is a window to the subtle body and the most subtle of habits.
My appreciation of the world has increased so much over the years, especially as I travel more. Lifting off into the skies I am thankful for my ability to be in my body in groundless space, and in the body of the world with it's wide open arms of sky.