Step Back & Question

It's illuminating to periodically notice how much time we spend leaning forward into the future or backward into the past. What do we miss as we keep going somewhere else than where we actually are right now? How much stress do we cause ourselves by making ourselves fugitives?

What does Jon Kabat-Zinn mean: "Wherever you go, there you are"?

What's the value of open questions?

"... we access our greatest intelligence through engaging our life with the spirit of wonderment, not through seeking absolute conclusions."

Mattis-Namgyel E. "The power of an open question. The Buddha's path to freedom." Shambhala, Boston, 2011.

Unless we continuously objectively monitor what our mind is doing, and not let it "fly on autopilot" but keep bringing it back on task, it will waste a tremendous amount of time going in well-worn, tedious circles. We know when this is going on - it gives us a headache.

A much better use of our time is to keep looking at life afresh, with curiosity, with a "beginner's mind". There's so much to learn. Boredom is not caused by external circumstances, but by a failure of imagination.

Can I, from moment-to-moment - behold "just this" - whatever I'm faced with right now - with inner silence, stillness, kindness and awareness? Not a bad mindfulness practice, on or off the cushion.

Kind Awareness

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