One of the biggest steps anyone can take toward being even happier is to pay increasing attention to one’s inner dialogue, or monologue or diatribe – as it sometimes feels! This introspective practice is not something that we’re typically shown how to do, nor is it a value we hear our parents, teachers, religious leaders, societal leaders nor scientists talking about. Although there has been increasing studies available done by pioneers in the field showing the positive, and rather quick, return on improved cognitive functions from a regular meditation practice.
Yes, I said the phrase, “meditation practice.” BUT even if you don’t, or won’t, or can’t or whatever storyline your mind has created around the practice of meditation to keep you from meditating, there’s still simply awareness. By observing your own thoughts in action just a bit more, especially when they’re running down your most familiar tracks with those most familiar trains of thoughts, you do have the ability to leap of the train off into the wilderness and let the train continue off down the tracks.
If your mind is tightening, wanting to control the obnoxious screaming kid, or the guy talking really loud at the next table, or that traffic light that is always extra long, or that tone she gets when she __________ or that look he gets when he ____________ or how she doesn’t do this and he does that when you don’t want him to……
In other words, complaining. Well…that seems to have become one of the post-modern consumer driven worlds’ outcomes and impacts on a really accessible tone for our minds to take.
Check our beloved Pema Chodron, the first white female Tibetan Buddhist Monk and favorite teacher of the strong mindfulness practices to help us become unstuck. She talks to this last mechanism in the mind with gentle humor, helping us to detach from the mind just a bit, loosen that tight feeling our thoughts have accumulated into their tirade, and maybe even chuckle to a downright laugh will be squeezed out from in between the tightness of the complaining mind.
Seriously, god bless Pema Chodron, for she has taken Chogyam Trungpas – one of the first Tibetan Buddhist Meditation teachers to come to the States and teach meditation in the 70’s in Berkeley and founder of Naropa University in Boulder – teachings and made them even more accessible to western minds. The nature not just of our thoughts and minds, but of our emotional triggers, well this is the value Trungpa’s teachings and Pema’s teachings for me have had. The Shambhala Spiritual Warrior of Chogyam’s has become a sacred guide for me. I lived with this teaching when going through a hugely triggered situation – all my buttons were being pushed and chose conscious growth and mindfulness so that I wouldn’t get stuck and potentially destroy such a precious opportunity that even though the situation was ridden with “sensitive areas” for me, the reason why it was so ripe with this was because the reward was absolutely phenomenal of what was the possibility at risk there….the discipline of becoming a spiritual warrior and learning to just let go of the tightness of what my mind had learned to habituate issues around because it was in the way to my reward…and sanity & happiness.
Here she is….Pema Chodron! (rounds of applause are heard with a few whistles)
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