Mindfulness is not for everyone.  It asks us to step away from the movie of our lives and ask ourselves, as the star of our own show, who are you? Are you your name, your job, your height, your experiences, the sum total of your life, or is there more to you?  Are you more than the parts, scripts, words, emotions, and definitions that you’ve come to understand?  The question of who you are has been the subject of philosophers, scholars, and writers since the dawn of time.  The Buddhist concept of Shunyata, attempts to answer this question by saying that you are everything, yet nothing; as if you were a raindrop, in an infinite ocean.

Shunyata is a Buddhist concept that that tries to define the self in respect to a non-self, to answer the question of who we are. With Shunyata, we are to understand that we are not our thoughts, memories, ears, eyes, bodies, senses or sum total of them. We are infinite like beings, like raindrops and waves of water, crashing upon the shores of life. With each wave unfolding, pulsating neurons, connecting, discerning, good, bad, thoughts, experience, feeling, seeing our world through the colored lenses of cultural references.  With mindfulness, we are able to move away from the mental chattering, flip the switch and empty our minds of stress and worry and move into a state of observation, as watchers.

Taking our seat in the “theatre of our minds” we are able to watch our thoughts, feelings, and sensations, attentively observing without judgment. With this awareness of our own awareness (a meta-awareness), we can connect into the abyss, with our light of awareness, to recognize, choose and accept life on its own terms.  I like the metaphor that we are like raindrops in an energetic ocean, an infinite sea of possibilities.  If we but look at our lives, our connectedness, bring non-judgmental awareness and perspective, and let go of the interferences and disturbances caused by personal, social or religious opinions, to move beyond the distortions of ignorance and delusion,

The Take -Away

Our minds are constantly overwhelmed by millions of thoughts, energy impulses, each day. Too much information can crowd our brains, causing distortions or fragmentations that move us to fight, flight and freeze. We need to reboot, defragment and clear the distortions.  This is essential, that we go back “online” into the world, to connect with our greater humanity. Mindfulness practice provides us with the tools to back away, gain insight, perspective and wash the lens of our mind, to have a clearer vision of the world around us. It helps us to see the impermanence of it all, that everything changes, and holding on to a thought, emotion or judgment weighs heavily on us, fogging our view of the world. Finally, with our practice, we move away from labeling the world and events as happening to me, my, mine, and broaden our view to see that words and labels are not sufficient.  Stuff just happens and we need to choose how we view it. There are 7 Billion people are on the planet earth and we each carry our own reality.  Who are we?  Which one is right?  Who’s perception is the right one?

“We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.” Anais Nin

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