“Today I no longer concern myself with making the right decision. I trust that whatever the circumstances are, I need to listen, observe and reflect, because ‘now’ contains information for my next step.” Katie Teauge
“Whatever is happening is the path to enlightenment.” Pema Chodron
“Anything and everything can become our teacher of the moment. Anything. Everything. If it is met in the present moment.” Jon Kabat-Zinn
We choose to overtly be mindful or mindless every moment. It is basically on or off. Of course, we can go into the depth and breadth of awareness and its evolvement and becoming.
Sometimes our choice is not necessarily just to be aware. It is to do something else and not necessarily mindlessness. We kind of approach it as if we do not have the time to give awareness its due, due to exigencies in our so-called life. We know that mindlessness is not to be esteemed and has dangers when alertness would be more situationally appropriate.
We often choose an alternative to awareness in terms of activities we have to do. In our minds, this means no time for awareness. Rationalizing, we suggest to ourselves that “we have to focus and get this task completed”. We further suggest to ourselves that mindfulness will just get in the way. We “need to be clear”, we say to ourselves, a further rationalization.
In effect, what occurs is a choice for focused mindlessness. We go to our trusted patterns which are heavily programmed, to do things automatically. When we drive a car, do we drive as if it is our first time or do we get in and start thinking and doing other things than driving?
This is not to say that there isn’t utility in inculcating repetitive tasks. But even in the redundancy of life, there is always room for awareness, especially after we have mastered the rudimentary issues of learning and/or inculcating physical motions into our neuromuscular system. Just because we have achieved a level of success in task completion does not mean we abandon the clarity of ‘seeing’.
In life we engender skill development and reward ourselves with better jobs and status upon achievement of these goals. However, we cannot sit idly by and believe that it is enough. Technological changes, research results, and changing paradigms, prompt us to refresh and continually upgrade our skills. To not do so, dates us unmercifully.
In the same way, there is no retirement for awareness, especially when we have delivered a high standard of success in whatever. It is the fickleness of life that guarantees change and uncertainty. This is a volatility that can upend the best of us. Self-awareness guarantees that ‘fresh’ date. It is not even a date. It is a ‘moment’.
When we have successfully patterned a history that is enviable to our competitors, we are even more vulnerable to failure. It is a delusion, building.
Take recent events like the Eric Cantor story that hit like a ton of bricks. An underfunded, unknown long shot beat the House majority leader in a GOP primary. There is no 3rd party option for Mr. Cantor. There is only a write-in vote that always proves difficult. This was stunning to the political pundits, none of whom had this in their forecast. It changes the political field in a big way. Who knew this was even remotely possible?
To settle in our little cocoons with our regular successes is not enough. Settling does not mean not being aware of our changing surroundings. The vigilance of constant integrated awareness precludes any false confidence we may have about the next five minutes.
Gary Klein, in “Seeing What Others Don’t” runs through the repression of consequences, the things/events that we do not want to see. He has a “pre-mortem” process that reduces the false confidence. A listing of why something failed is run through before launching.
We tend to not to want to fail if our goal is to be successful. Listing out the problems assures more success if we are realistic about their solution, prior to serious implementation. In any list-making there will always be positives and negatives. The numbers of desirable vs. undesirable characeristics are not as important as having a full and realistic accounting. We may have a tendency to go one way or another, but ‘seeing’ the big picture is what is essential.
In terms of our own accounting on our spiritual path, we watch out for overconfidence and negativity as well as spiritual arrogance. “Seeing” and witnessing does not invest in the properties of whether something is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. “Seeing” invests in seeing clearly. Collecting the so-called good or bad is often distorting the reality. Reality Is. Judging often gets in the way of seeing. See the judging.
The most difficult part of our reality can be accepting it. When we have pain we overlay suffering by spinning a narrative about how awful it is going to be and how we will have to adapt, and the changes to make -all of which do nothing but increase our resistance to current circumstances. Not the best way to align oneself with the universe (a la resistance).
Acceptance of everything unequivocally, allows the power of the universe to come through our life. Resisting the universe, transfers the power of everything, stopping the flow, as we demand and resist. Ergo, tremendous burdens are bestowed upon ourselves. The value added is found by ‘not’ adding/resisting. See that.
When we go to the ‘large’ awareness and abide there, we accept that fullness. We let go of our pettiness, thereby allowing an alignment with that fullness, which includes pain. We are not the pettiness we ‘think’ we are anyway. That is just a thought, unreal.
The problem with reality is that we cannot pick and choose what to see and not see. We do that when we do not accept what has happened to us rather than allowing it to pass. Holding on to ‘stuff’ traumatizes and re-traumatizes. ‘Seeing’ releases and moves on to the next moment.
The universe or reality, is giving us whatever we need for our enlightenment. If we think we know better than the universe, maybe we need to see that. This is especially true if we do not acknowledge the utility given us, to shake loose the attachment to what we ‘think’ we need.
Acceptance and ‘letting’ go of our finalities of how things should be, is an education in Being. The most difficult people we know are the ones that are least flexible. Holding on to things too much is like trying to stop a freight train. Ain’t gonna happen.
See constantly, listen to the Silence, Be always, let The Energy flow. Can we see Now?