1:24PM Jun 21, 2020
One of the important potentials of living a mindful life is that you might start noticing the patterns of how you think the general ways in which you think about things, think about yourself, think about what's happening, the perspective that you general perspectives you bring to your experience. And you might notice that there's a pattern you might notice, you know, to be very, that there are some that you tend to be more negative, or more positive, a higher percentage of your thoughts are negative in nature, or higher percentage of their positive nature. You might notice that that's your way you're thinking How you think that higher percentage of them are pleasant, enjoyable and or a higher percentage are unpleasant, not enjoyable. You might notice that you tend to think, from the perspective that there's something wrong. Something wrong with me something wrong with the world. It's always something wrong. Or you might tend to think in the perspective that there's something right. There's something really right with me. And you might be in perspective that there's always something dangerous going on. So something you'd be worried about. And that's kind of like the constant stream of thoughts. Or it might be that the opposite. Every moment is a new possibility and the world open and can't wait to wake up because there's nothing to be afraid of. So there's different ways very general ways in which people concert throws you see the pattern? I think for a lot of people as it was for me, it was really being on retreat, meditation retreats into that because they're you're really left to your own mind in a way that is then a life you get interrupted a lot, you know, and you don't really fall you don't see the stream as well you don't see it with so much clarity and retreat, you kind of wow you know, over and over again. And, and so, but fill in daily life in ordinary practice of mindfulness. Also, you can see after a while, there's patterns. So one of the interesting things to do if you start noticing a pattern of how you think. Take a little bit of time for a while as a practice to think in the opposite way. Try it, try you know, just see if you can reflect on things up So, if the if you're always kind of negative about things critical, then you might want to think, you know, what's positive about this? What's good about this? What what part most of it's bad. But what part of it is good? You know, just think you know what, you know, just reflect that way. Or if you're always thinking about, you know, things are so wonderful and great and spiritual and you might want to spend a little time thinking what's wrong here? What's a little bit off? If you are always feeling unsafe, you might ask, Well, what is safe right now? Where's the safety right now? And is there safety around here? There's a little trick that I've been told that therapists use when people are in the therapy office feeling really afraid. Maybe having a pet Nik is they'll ask the client to look around. And notice what's there's any danger in the office in the corners and the walls and look around? Is this danger here now? And they realized no right now it's not dangerous. And just realizing that here and now in this office is not dangerous, can make a big difference for people so So anyway, so you know, feeling a lot of fear what is safe right now, if a person feels very feel safe, and sometimes that's a feeling of safety can be almost unconscious. Some people just have a lot of, you know, comfort in society and and they walk around, but you might also then to reflect what is not safe here. Where's the danger?
So what is right? That's your thing. Then ask What is wrong? If What is wrong? Ask what is right. If you're oriented towards Pleasure, and you only one pleasure. Ask yourself what is unpleasant here? And then practice and then find your peace with that. If you're only orienting to what's unpleasant, maybe look and see what's pleasant and find your peace with that. And it isn't that I'm not saying that one or the other is right or wrong. But the suggestion here is that many of us are biased thinkers. We are predisposed to think and orient and see and interpret the world in particular ways. That can be quite invisible to us. And we just assume that's the way it is no other question. But if you could notice the pattern of your thinking, or if you have a really good friend, you might ask them what is it you may notice any pattern in the way that I think about things and Oh, yes, I've been waiting for you to ask me. And the And then a try on the opposite not like you're pretending, not that you're, you know, just white washing or color coding whatever is going on. But to kind of get the fuller picture of it all and the bigger picture of what's happening and and chances are, you're missing something. And if you're missing something, what happens if you fill in the picture and see more of it? And how does that change your orientation? How does it change your human, your relationship to yourself? So you can ask yourself, you know, what, how do you normally think about yourself? What's the perspective in which you hold yourself? Is it are you like your own best friend? Or you wouldn't want anyone to talk to someone else? The way that you talk to yourself? It's so harsh. And so what is what is the perspective here? You see yourself negatively you see yourself positively. You mostly see yourself through the filter of what's wrong with You are the filter of what's really right and everyone else should know or something. And, but you know, switch in, what can you can you can you try on the different perspective? Try it out. If you're mostly looking at what's wrong about you? What happens if you start thinking about what's right with me? And thinking about that, then it's possible you'll discover some things if you don't keep looking. Because there's definitely something to write about everybody. There's no question about it. And but some people are so locked in, you know, on this idea that something's wrong. And if you're really locked in about how absolutely wonderful you are, you're probably an annoyance for other people. And that's all you do. So then it might be useful to see where we're at my little bit off just a little bit, where my little myth may be impatient. Or maybe where am I? Maybe a little bit conceited something, and they might, you know, to fill out that picture, see what's going on. And the goal of this kind of exercise, where we kind of, we kind of take on the perspective, that's opposite from how we our usual perspective is, certainly you get a better view of what's happening, maybe more realistic view of what's happening. But from a Buddhist point of view, it's also to discover how to be more economists and not at all to not be so easily reactive are caught or are under the sway of these different thoughts and ideas. We have to kind of see them more in perspective Oh, there's that perspective of mine. There's my pattern and, and be able to hold it likely and not necessarily believe it or have it push us around. And sad idea of the mindfulness developing such a way that we have the capacity To see all the tendencies of the mind, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and hold it likely and not take it so personally and have some kindness for it all, and openness to it all and hold it with equanimity is really a fantastic way to us to continue to grow in the practice grow personally mature, because that kind of ability to kind of step back and take the bigger picture and hold it with more equanimity is kind of like giving ourselves breathing room for something to grow and develop, that can't really grow and develop if we're kind of locked in, in a particular particular perspective and, and, and have to work committed to it in some deep way.
So, if you haven't done this before, you might spend some time spend this week trying to do a little bit of a inventory of how you think and see If there's any pattern that you tend to be on one side of some divide and the other side, and then run the exercise and see if you can try on intentionally, the other side of the divide and see what that does for you. And and if you or the person who your tendency is to think that everything is just work, everything is a challenge and difficult, then take on this exercise as a kind of play. Have fun. So, thank you.