Asheville Sangha

Asheville Spirituality, Satsang, Meditation

 Howard McQueen

 

It seems a very difficult thing,

this just noticing the mind

so possessively intertwined  

with our fearful, dark,

often hostile memories.

 

It may very well be,

that if you patiently wait and see,

what you will really encounter,

is no more than your covered over,

scared little boy or girl,

who, at the time,

was paralyzed with fear,

and unable to speak.

 

Each of us, to greater or lesser degrees

carries the baggage from our past.

Take heart in knowing that,

with practice,

we can choose to set down this baggage

and not lug it along our entire life’s journey.

 

It starts with just noticing.

 

This just noticing begins to lessen our reactivity,

giving us working space to become grounded

in our body and in our breathing.

As you learn to come back home into your body,

you begin to re-orient the mind

to what is here,

to what is now.

 

This inward journey brings us into the shadow-world

of our disembodied, irrational fears;

and,

a realization that it is our own mind that has constructed

our elaborate and seductive distractions.

 

As we come to realize that our distractions are like parasites; they short-circuit our well-being, siphon off our joy

and disconnect us from our capacity

to be present to feeling and responding in our fullness

with whatever life brings.

 

This ability to just notice gives us information in the form of feelings, strong emotions, images, and sometimes even words.  Our mind brings this to us at the lightning-fast speed of thought, so the mind has the temporary advantage of being able to catch us by surprise.

 

In our surprise, we are caught off-guard, and, as a result, it is easy (and seemingly natural) to jump into an automatic and reactive first response.  This first response is often our reptilian fight or flight response and it brings with it adrenaline that reinforces our sense that there is an emergency.

 

And a desire to react to that information.

 

We are constantly given the opportunity to re-enact.

This is where we can exercise our will to just notice.

 

Imagine what is possible when we just notice.

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