What are you anxious or angry about? What's making you sad? Okay, now how are you anxious, angry, or sad?
When you practice mindfulness, the focus of your attention is less on "what" and more on "how." For example, if you're worried about the health of a family member, try directing your attention away from the endlessly repeating story and examine the experience of worry instead.
What does worry feel like in your body?
Where does it live? In your gut? solar plexus? throat?
Is the sensation intense or dull? brief or lasting? tight or buzzing?
When you drop the story and place your attention on the sensations, how long does it take for them to dissipate?
The "trick" is to direct attention away from the story and onto how you experience the pain, holding it in compassionate awareness. Over time, the attention to the actual feelings is healing. The trouble happens when the attention is absorbed in the story.
Whatever your worrisome situation, it provides the opportunity to examine and free yourself from your relationship with conditioning. The point is to see how you suffer -- the mud -- and then practice to end that suffering, trusting that you are adequate to whatever happens -- the lotus.
for Mindful Monday
© August 11, 2014, post: Donna Pierce
Photo credit: "No mud, no lotus." Thich Nhat Hanh, Unified Buddhist Church, 2013
#mindful #monday #findingGod