Open or Boxed-in?

It's fascinating to observe how boxed-in some people become over the decades. As soon as any topic slightly outside of their comfort zone is mentioned, their eyes glaze over, they become uncomfortable, disconnect, and indicate that this territory is taboo. These can be very fine, decent, kind, otherwise accomplished people. Nor do they necessarily have a history of major trauma.

Most of us realize that life can at times be seriously difficult, and will end in death. Many, regardless of their "belief systems", deep down are profoundly cynical. Yet Mindfulness points to a way of markedly improving one's quality of life by intentionally facing, with curiosity, the very existential facts that most people find intolerable to even talk about. A major taboo for such folks is any suggestion that one's quality of life can in fact be significantly improved. They consider it a cruel tease if anyone suggests that their philosophy is unduly cynical and that life can actually be approached in a much wiser way. A strikingly common response, should you give them something to read, is finding the material "too difficult" or "confusing" - a quick, efficient way of continuing their longstanding path of avoidance.

Approaching life with Mindfulness means openness & curiosity, "leaning into" the very things that scare us, rather than the common path of avoidance, distraction, cynicism & negativity. The fact is, we don't know what's going to happen, and unless we have a rigid negativity bias, life tends to have a fairly good balance of pleasant to unpleasant surprises. So right from the very start, letting go of cynicism, and adopting openness & curiosity immediately improves our quality of life. And there are many more benefits to Mindfulness, which become readily accessible AS we open up to reality as it actually is - rather than remain cocooned in our tiny box.

“Develop a mind that is vast like space, where experiences both pleasant and unpleasant can appear and disappear without conflict, struggle or harm. Rest in a mind like vast sky.” Buddha

See also:

New Mexico Horizon

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