23 May 2018

how to use mindfulness

Why is mindfulness the latest spiritual "thing"?

This subject is either: a "don't get me started"!! topic; or, I get really inspired and delve into the spirituality of mindfulness.

But first: our minds are not the be-all and end-all of ourselves. No, not at all. We are so much more than just our minds!! And this, for me, has a lot to do with the problem of mindfulness. I feel that mindfulness limits us. And it is tiring. It is tiring being aware of so much by using 'mind', and the brain. When our brains are being active so much, they use up a lot of oxygen and glucose: our primary brain foods. And, when our brain gets tired, our whole body gets tired.

Our minds, according to my Tohunga (Maori spiritual guide) teacher, Ruatau Perez, are for working things out. In other words, like a computer. Data goes in, gets sorted, and collated. From this, decisions are made.

Instead of doing this, the current obsession of mindfulness is encouraging us to obsess about our thoughts, by always being aware of them.

Our senses and mindfulness

We have senses which absorb information. We are also encouraged to be aware of what we are receiving through our senses. Do we need to be aware of each piece of sensory input? How can we possibly? Our senses are always active. Often we are receiving very subtle sensory input, too subtle to notice.

Why do we think that our senses are to do with our minds? Sensory information does have nervous system input, however, if we take it back to the experience of:
  • feeling, such as the breeze on our face when we are walking 
  • seeing, using our eyes fully rather than trying to engage other mental activity
  • hearing a sound, in our ears, where we are supposed to recognise a sound
  • using the acute sense of smell to recognise an odour, whether pleasant or unpleasant
  • focus on the experience of taste especially when we are eating
Then we can tap into the wonderful experience of being more whole. This in itself is intensely spiritual. We can just be. Be still, and just be. Luxuriate in be-ingness. Let the senses roll.

                           Image result for hafiz on awareness

I was taught, in the Satyananda system, as an example with senses: there is a sound, we receive this sound in the ears. We are aware of the sound, the reception, and also aware of the awareness. Simultaneously. 

This gives an incredibly intense head rush. Our brains are firing with nervous impulses. This is quite addictive. In retrospect, I cannot understand why this was considered to be beneficial. It was touted as a way to get into the state of pratyahara, pratyahara being sensory withdrawal. 

But pratyahara is not difficult. Truly. And why do we want to get into sensory withdrawal? It is for the purpose of deep states of meditation.

But, those states can be achieved with eyes wide open, with being simultaneously in the inner and outer worlds. It can be done, and it is is an advanced state of being. It is not, however a state to remain in. 

The happiness of mindfulness?

Do you know what happens when we allow stillness of mind to happen? Do you know that in these moments, we can 'Just Be'. We can Just Be in a place of harmony, peacefulness.

When we restrict ourselves to being aware of so much that is going on, we are not allowing that space for that Inner Stillness to manifest.



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