September 7, 2013

Mirror, Mirror: Reflections on Mindfulness. ~ Conny Lechner

Photo: Dennis Brekke

A couple of days ago I read the quote: “A happy mind is a present mind.“

A nice quote, but let’s have a closer look:

If we believe that the mind can be happy, then one can assume that it can also be sad as well, depending on what we are experiencing in the world, right?

A depended phenomene can never be characterized as something existent and stable. As the mind is something existent, it can’t be dependent. The mind itself can neither be happy nor sad, nor jealous, nor angry. The mind itself is in fact total awareness.

Mathematicians or physicians would call it neutral. If we feel happy or sad, it is merely something that we are experiencing, but it is not what we are. It is not a part of us, it’s simply an experienced emotion, but nothing to hold on to, nor something we should devote too much energy to since it’s not going to last.

Compare it to a mirror.

The mirror as such is only a mirror. When you look at it, the images you see reflected back in this moment are present, but they are only there for a moment, and only make up one part of you that is changing all the time.

The mirror has the ability to reflect beautiful or ugly images, but the mirror itself always stays the same.

So if you buy a mirror, do you choose it because of what you see reflected in it, or because of the actual mirror itself?

It makes sense to stay with the mirror and not with pictures if we are looking for something permanent. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the images we see on the surface of the mirror. They can cause feelings of excitement, joy or worry, as long we understand that we are not the images.

The same can be said for a movie theater. Our mind is not the film we are watching, but is actually the big screen—always present and never changing. We are enjoying the movie and the pictures that we see, but when it is over, the comedy, tragedy, or the thriller is no longer there on the screen.

The screen is neutral again. More precisely, the screen has always been neutral, and was only momentarily covered with those different kinds of images.

So getting back to this quote:  the meaning as such is that in this present moment there is just total awareness, total consciousness.

If we are able to dissolve the time and space, if we dissolve the dualitiy of ourselves and others, we can experience total presence, and in this moment, find total happiness. In our daily lives, we all have these one pointed moments every now and then, when we forget ourselves and our limits.

There are no memories we are holding on to, no plans we are making for our future—we just experience.

We experience the moment of being together with someone we love, in total presence when we are high above the ground finding the next step to climb a bit further, standing on the launchpad ready to take off.

For extending these kinds of moments we can meditate, watching the breath, which is always here.

Practicing being focused, calming our thoughts and looking inside rather than outside, which leads to a full experience of whatever its happening in and around us.


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Assist Ed: Dana Gornall/Ed: Sara Crolick

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