What is not usually emphasized in the excitement over mindfulness is that, from a Buddhist perspective, mindfulness is an introductory technique. It is an entry-level practice whose purpose is to open doors to insight. The trick to Right Mindfulness is not to turn it into another method of self-improvement.
Right Mindfulness opens up interesting opportunities for honest self-reflection, but there is no built-in guarantee that these openings will be used productively. The self does not give up its grip easily- all of the same defense mechanisms that Freud outlined are still operative when mindfulness is strong. It is possible to overvalue mindfulness, to remain attached to its form rather than working directly with what it reveals. Right Mindfulness like a successful psychotherapy, slows people down. It pokes holes in the facades we unwittingly hide behind. When we stand outside and listen, we have a chance to eavesdrop on the ego’s endlessly obsessive self-preoccupation. With the senses aroused in a new way- if people are willing- they can step outside of themselves as well.
our attachments reveal themselves when we lose our graciousness…..
inquiry for today~ what are you particularly grasping onto today? instead of focusing on letting go, perhaps focus on studying and listening to its insightful way of gripping onto you….
It takes faith to keep going when you are spinning in a swirl of doubt- faith in yourself. It takes the strength of a vow- a vow to yourself. Otherwise, practice is likely to become one of a long list of things in life that you start with eager optimism and discard in cynicism and despair. What a shame it would be to toss aside the opportunity to know your true self as you really are, beneath the beliefs that blind you. Get out of your own way, and have faith in yourself as the Way. There is no path other than the one you’re on. Let’s settle down right where we are and see it straight on.
~Karen Maezen Miller