We are shaped by our thoughts. We become what we think. -- Buddha
Cheri Huber, the guiding teacher at Zen Monastery Peace Center in Murphys, CA, adds, "What you practice is what you have. The quality of your life is determined by the focus of your attention. [...] Repeating 'I’ll never be good at this' while learning a new skill does not lead to 'Yes, I’m good at this.' Worrying about the future won’t help you have a better future. Worrying about the future will help you have a future of worrying about the future. The only thing you will ever get from life is what you are doing in the moment. What you do is what you get.
"Our lives are the result of what we give our attention to. If you practice 'overwhelmed with work' or 'I should be different,' [...] that's the life experience you will have. If we want our lives to be different, we must practice the difference we want [by] developing the ability to direct attention and pay attention."
How do you know when your attention has been hijacked? Huber says it's when "you are suffering, you have a problem, you are confused, you are struggling, you are complaining, you are dissatisfied, you believe there is something wrong, you believe there is not enough, you are fearful."
This past year, I found myself suffering, fearful, and believing that something was wrong with me a lot of the time. Recently, I paid close attention to the voice of my thoughts and was shocked to find that it is primarily negative, often reflecting some form of self-hate and how I should be different or "improved."
When you are suffering, dissatisfied, or anxious, ask yourself, "Where is my attention? What are the thoughts I practice regularly to my detriment? Are they helpful, or do they keep me bogged down? Where would I like to direct my attention?" How about right here, right now?
"What you practice is what you have." What would you prefer to practice?
What are you noticing today?
for Mindful Monday
© 2013, post, Donna Pierce
© 2008, photo, Frank Kovalchek, Flickr Creative Commons
#mindful #monday #findingGod