Summer Time Mindfulness

July 29, 2019 by

By Teresa Miller

What’s true about the nature of mindfulness?
How does it resemble the summer season?

Like the fireflies of June whose lights flicker on and off in random, moving patterns, steady unceasing mindfulness is elusive. We may be meditating with attention on the breath, only to realize that suddenly we’re miles away from our bodies, lost in a movie trailer about our life – as it was 15 minutes ago or 15 years ago.

Like the fireworks of July whose sounds, colors and shapes entertain and distract us, mindful concentration may be punctuated by sudden strident thoughts or emotions that sidetrack us.

Like the hot stillness of August whose relentless heat waves may befuddle us, we can drift into states of sleepiness, confusion or numbness.

None of these mind states is a problem…if we remember that we’re not changing our experience but rather our relationship to our experience.

 This is not to say we won’t judge or have expectations; that’s the mind’s work – an attempt to keep us safe.

Mindful awareness is about noticing when sensations or thoughts or emotions have us tangled up, locked in a story or a behavior that is counterproductive to the well-being of our life.

The moment we notice the lock down, we are awake to this present moment; now we have choices.

You might reflect on this process using the following as guidelines:

pause – take a few deep breaths to establish a calm, alert, receptive state (like allowing a cup of muddy water to settle, become clear)

suspend judgment – step back, becoming the camera director who’s  filming you, your thoughts and your movements

observe with focused attention – see the story, the assumption, the fear that’s driving the story or the belief; let go

extend compassion to yourself; become a kind witness to your life. ”This is the human experience of _______________ (resentment, irritation, anger, hurt, sorrow)”

allow intuition, vision or insight to arise – we let come

Summer season of fireflies, fireworks, heat changes; another one arrives. We ride the choppy surface of rising and falling waves, knowing awareness of a deeper calm beneath.

In the words of Wu Men, a Chinese poet,

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.

Filed Under: Monthly Musings