After the Course is Over
No matter how enthusiastic we are during an 8-week Mindfulness (MBSR) course, when it's over, most of us slide right back into the same old same old, story of me, momentum of our life, autopilot, sleep-walking, routine, our conditioned reactivity. We grossly underestimate the power of momentum. Yet we're like a huge oil tanker that takes several kilometers to stop it's trajectory & start heading in a new direction. No matter how unsatisfactory our usual way of being is, we identify with it - "but that's me!" - and tend not to have the willpower, energy or confidence to do anything substantive about it.
We also mistakenly assume that there's lots of time to change. But actually, we have no idea how long we have before our mental capacity, or our life, is finished. And even a long life will feel like it flew by in the blink of an eye, when you're there.
Many people get the shocking news that they only have a month or two to live. A surprising proportion (>40%) of these folks quickly shed their egos, drop everything that's meaningless from their lives, and fully open their mind-hearts to the people and activities that mean the most to them. They report that the terminal diagnosis was the best thing that ever happened to them and would not have wanted it any other way. This is "post-traumatic growth" - rapid discovery of authenticity, centeredness, undivided life, hypoegoic state.
Why on earth would we wish to postpone, & risk failing to experience, such quality of life, when we can intentionally start cultivating it right now, with mindfulness practices? Living a divided life under the control of a noisy ego is suffering for both the individual and everyone around them. NOR do we need a noisy ego to succeed at anything worthwhile: http://mindfulnessforeveryone.blogspot.ca/2016/11/730-excellence-loving-awareness.html
Poster by Karen Kerney