What does it mean to see the world as a meditator? Eyes soft, bright and wide. The full moon rising over the building across the street. The crisp white of the new Jeep waiting at the red light outside the window of this cafe. The shadows of my hand and pen on the paper becoming refined from the internal light as the natural light of the world outsides fades from dusk to dark. A shared, gentle kiss on the cheek between two friends as they meet beside me at the end of this unseasonably warm day, the last day of February of a year that seems to have just begun yesterday.
Our bodies can be a great ally in mindfulness practices. The body is right here with us all the time and by turning our attention towards the immediate experience of our body we quickly bring ourselves into the present moment.
Many people, however, are very cut off from the experience of their body. For some this is a survival strategy as a result of trauma or assault.
I prefer to set New Year's intentions rather than to make resolutions. It may seem like a matter of semantics, yet I believe it is deeper than that. Resolutions, to me, have a sense of immobility, of rigidness. It feels like something placed on me from the outside, rather than something coming from within me. I feel resolutions as something I have to do or should do. I don't know about you, but when I am told that I should do something, even if the message comes from myself, I feel a wall of resistance rise up in me, a sense of pushing away. When that happens it removes the joy from the path of action towards the goal of the resolution, and also diminishes the amount of joy I feel when I reach the goal, if I ever even get there!
An intention, on the other hand, feels like an invitation, an offering, something given to me rather than demanded from me.
I'm glad you have stopped by!
Through this Reflection page, I will be initiating conversations with you to invite connection. I'll be sharing my thoughts on things that inspire curiosity, feed the journey of inquiry, stir creative energies, and open my heart to love and compassion in the hopes of similar inspiration for you.
When we approach mindfulness practice, in whatever forms we choose, with these qualities of mind: curiosity, inquiry, creativity, love and compassion, we are more engaged and enlivened by the practice and are apt to return to it regularly.
Raine Brown is a long-time meditator, a mindfulness teacher and facilitator, writer, explorer of the human experience, grant manager and Holistic Counselor. I hope these shared reflections inspire your curiosity and path of self-compassion.