How to Be Mindful Responsibly So You Don’t Get Caught in Internal Drama
Mindfulness is a really challenging discipline even though it’s our birthright to be in this frame of mind. Our monkey mind, ego, or psyche tends to get in the way of being in our body. It actually prevents us from being present in the moment and doesn’t want us to deal with things. This part that is holding you back is a part of yourself that need to be wrangled back. It’s likely your ego has been dictating your life for quite some time. If you want to take your life back and live with infinite possibilities, mindfulness is the path to getting there.
The Scary Path of Mindfulness
With every reward in life, there is great risk. When you first begin on the path of mindfulness, you’re going to hit a lot of bumps. All the things you’ve avoided emotionally are now being brought to the forefront of your mind. You’ll experience tension in the heart, belly, and throat as thoughts come up. There is the risk that you don’t let these past hurts go. You repress them once again. You shy away from the whole experience of seeing it and letting it go. Holding on can cause you to feel depressed because you’re reminded of the pain but have yet to let it go. This is the scariest part of mindfulness.
How Buddha Dealt with Mara
When Buddha was going through his phases of enlightenment, Mara did everything it could to distract Buddha from his path. He caused the young Prince a great deal of discomfort. Buddha eventually overcame Mara with the power of compassion and became enlightened. Buddha honored Mara in a way though. In fact, he invited Mara for tea because part of enlightenment was to embrace all part of the experience. This includes disturbance. Objects of disturbance are an opportunity so don’t shy away. Meet it for tea the way Buddha invited Mara to tea.
How to Cope with Emotions that Arise
As you sit in silence and watch the objects go through your mind, you may become disturbed by what you experience. Basically, past emotions that come up are just an object. You choose to attach yourself emotionally to that object. With that said, some of these objects are a source of your pain and prevent you from true growth. When you are confronted by these objects that disturb, there are a few ways you can manage it. Firstly, envision that you embrace these disturbance with the wings of acceptance and compassion.
The Wings of Acceptance – Mindfulness
When we’re in a negative headspace or just not being conscious, we don’t see what’s happening in the moment. Our view is contorted and the heart is very narrow. To combat all of these actions that are caused by the ego, we have to lean into the moment. Let go of the stories and hold the pain or the longing. These are the two things we get caught up in. Holding onto something in a longing way or a painful way.
There are two parts to doing this effectively. Seeing clearly and holding the experience with a great deal of compassion for ourselves. The wing of clear seeing is known as mindfulness in Hinduism and Buddhism. It’s awareness that can see all the senses being shaken up by something. For example, if something scares you, mindfulness is seeing the shaking and witnessing the mind racing. Not clinging to any it. Just being with it. We don’t pull away and run.
The Wings of Acceptance – Compassion
The gentle weapon we can use to cope with all the chaos of our greatest fears or most uncomfortable feelings is compassion. Instead of running away from fear and grief, we embrace how we feel like a mother would embrace her crying newborn. We don’t judge or indulge in our desires for bad foods or destructive behaviors. We just honor the experience that is happening right now with compassion, love, and kindness.
Mindfulness can heal all wounds and has been effective within the yogic traditions. Still to this day, part of becoming a yoga teacher entails the teachings of mindfulness. We can achieve it through meditation and just paying attention to life’s ebbs and flows. The trick is to know how to manage what comes up and be courageous enough to look at it without running or clinging to it. The wings of acceptance help the practice to be less intimidating.
Mindfulness is not going to work if you’re not diligent about it either. It’s a daily practice and something that will often be tested by our own version of Mara. The benefit is that when you do walk through the pain and clinging of the past, you don’t ever have to experience that same pain again.