Arriving at a point of view is something that usually develops over time. We naturally and seamlessly stitch together our personal experiences, to which we instantly tack on likes and dislikes to each. These tones of feeling (pleasant, unpleasant and neutral) as they are called in Buddhist philosophy are the stuff from which we form opinions and launch our point of view. And, these viewpoints sometime interestingly arrive with nary a thought as to how they got there, where they are from, what influenced or dictated them, or and this is a really key point — whether they’re even true.
Most of the time unless we are deeply self-reflective, have been in some form of psychotherapy, or practiced mindfulness and mediation for a while, we aren’t fully aware of our views because they seem to be truths, rather than points of view or opinions. Actually, even with psychotherapy, decades of meditation and self-reflection we can still hold on to fixed views, and I speak from personal experience! None the less, these views are insidious, sneaky and sticky.
We’re usually great at spotting other people’s views – because isn’t it always those others that are narrow minded, or blind to the reality of what is going on? We can feel right and emboldened, we can rationalize our views and back them up with popular culture, a religious text, a group of friends, our family of origin or choice and/or the culture we grew up in.
Points of view aren’t inherently bad, or even wrong, but when they’re fixed and not open, they do cause problems including a closed and usually unhappy mind, an overly protected heart and more than likely a tight body. Basically, some sort of discomfort and pain ensues in one of our realms – physical, mental or emotional and most of the time, all three are affected to varying degrees. This is what I am finding really interesting in my own practice and life at the moment, is how to work with what is caught, stuck, sticky, or how I might ferret out the unseen resistances in my body and heart/mind.
I’m exploring this publicly in some upcoming events – with my dear friend and colleague Dr. Jenifer Talley at the Center for Optimal Living on February 28th in New York City – we’ll be speaking on Embodied Mindfulness and Somatic Practices for Pain and Addictive Behaviors, and then on March 1 I’ll be at New York Insight leading a day on Opening the Hand of Thought: Releasing Mental, Emotional and Physical Clinging
There is an upcoming retreat with my friends Kevin Griffin, Walt Opie and Greg Pergament in April and a few other events that I am excited to share with you on this page.
You can find some new audio on my website as well – so check it out if you are moved to and stay in touch and let me know what your current exploration/inspiration is.
In kindness, Jill