If we begin to observe ourselves and our reactions to experience, we may notice how impacted we are by our perception of others' approval or validation on the one hand, and their criticism, disapproval or rejection on the other. This can make for quite a rollercoaster ride when we care deeply, but are not fully present to the subtle workings of the mind. Mindfulness can help us have greater equanimity in the face of praise or blame.
There is an unending interplay of complex circumstances behind any given situation and we may never be able to work out completely the confluence of factors that allow certain events to germinate. A mindfulness practice helps us understand and remember this, which in turn allows us to remain open to experience. We see things more clearly and make time for consideration of a skillful response rather than being caught up in strong emotions arising from interpretations and expectations.
True enemies may be easy to spot, but what about "near enemies"? If near enemies were people, we might call them "frenemies". A near enemy is a subtle quality that we may miss or confuse as useful or helpful when, in fact, it can become an obstacle to our mindfulness practice that is hidden from us or in disguise.
Compassion, lovingkindness, appreciative joy, and equanimity are beneficial mental states that could be considered four complimentary "flavors of love". Together they form a firm foundation upon which authentic love can take solid root in a way that is boundless & indestructible. We can cultivate these qualities through a dedicated mindfulness practice.
Why is our calm so easily disturbed? Our culture values self promotion over humility, action over careful consideration, and passion over contentment. These human proclivities keep us off balance, tossed around by the waves of experience and crashing up against the rocky shore of reality. If we speak more than we listen or when we … Continue reading Don’t Let Your Calm be Disturbed