August News 2022
| FORGETFUL? you? YES! If I ask you, are you forgetful?
I bet you would answer, sometimes. But when we account for all our waking moments, we start to realise just how forgetful we are, which speaks to the nature of the mind – so don’t worry, you are not alone or broken…. the good news is, we can train our minds out of forgetfulness and into attentiveness.
But before I go on, perhaps you need convincing, so try this for a moment: tell your mind to focus on one thought – a sentence you decide on beforehand, or on your breathing in and out, or a specific area of your body, set an alarm for 1 – 5 minutes, and see how many times your mind forgets what you were doing for that dedicated time. Forgetful mind looks like moving onto new thoughts or a daydreamy feel of thinking that isn’t anchored on anything.
The nature of the mind is groomed to achieve, to completion, and once those boxes are ticked, the mind moves on from its state of scattered, gathering or dullness in relation to the task at hand. It is instant – I thought the thought, I watched the breath, I have achieved my goal – I did it faster than I set out to, so I beat the timeline and forgot the point.
This focus and concentration is a skill we can learn, using the body as the tool for learning. This speaks to a quality of mind that is powerful and peaceful.
We learn this skill while in the activity of asana practice – this action-based learning is to simulate lifes activities and to notice just what the mind will do. We can see our body respond to our intention as we move and then the shape / asana remains the same but the mind becomes fragmented as it forgets where its focus was. We develop repetitive focus on the breath and in the body as a means to training the mind to remain still. We build our mental strength in this way: being able to stay with our whole body (it is a looong way from your head to your feet!), or breathing pattern for 75 minutes in a yoga practice, without mental distraction or fragmentation of attention.
The art of attention:
With practice, you can learn to hold your energy and life force in one-pointed concentration and this means all your energy is present in the now moment. Many of us can do this when it is task orientated, or a job to be done, but what about for no reason at all other than to serve yourself infinitely empowered moments. Add this ability to a moving task – an action (beginners level – asana practice, advanced level – life) and see what level of expertise arises for anything you set your mind (and energy) to.
An attentive mind means that you will have a lot more energy available all day long and thus redistribute the energy you used to use on forgetfulness (and pulling ourselves back to attentive presence) and assign it to now. The bigger picture is becoming creative in your mental atmosphere and choosing when and if you think and what you think about thus reducing the worrisome thoughts or persistent ruminating thoughts that pull you into the future or back to the past. This also starts a journey of choosing your thoughts about you, and creating a compassionate inner environment. The skill of proper relaxation also becomes a possibility, a whole system reboot!
A still mind allows so much space for new adventures of perception, realization, intuition, creation. When the mind is busy, it is repetitive, habitual, fragmented, full of old ideas and future worries. Cultivate a quality of mind that allows space for the unknown, that is also grounded in focus and in this directed unknown, an adventure of Self.
August News 2022