“With mindfulness, we can be with the experience in more immediate way. When we find ourselves flooded with an emotion that’s come after the judgement, we’ve often missed the very judgment that triggered the emotion.” Mark Coleman
More mindfulness anyone? It plagues books these days and for that I am a big fan. I don’t think we can get enough. Either we control the mind or it controls us. The one place we have full control yet I wonder how well do we exercise that control. The mind becomes what it sees and believes. The mind sets our reality. An unobserved mind that runs wild and free may be less conducive to creating the reality we truly desire.
Mark Coleman is a mindfulness teacher and wilderness guide. In an interview I did with him he shared a practice that he calls the meandering meditation. This is done by going for a hike or walk without any intent or purpose. Just simply walk. When we are driven by purpose we can often miss out on the beauty on the path there. A meandering practice allows us to see that beauty.
As a wilderness guide I feel Mark has found great mindfulness in that hobby alone. When we get out of our enclosed environments, that are much like traps of life, we give our minds space to be observed. There is greater calmness found in this.
I also believe that in nature we see a larger world, a togetherness, this helps us to remain grounded. The ambitious souls that we think occupy our bodies are cause for much of our pain and suffering. We must see beyond our Self and realise that our significance while beautiful may not be as highly precious as we think it is. This might sound a bit tripe but it is quite humbling when you understand it.
Mark talks a look on the inner voice that occupies our minds. The voice that is often harsh and critical without purpose or good resolve. The inner critic that he refers to is often the results of much of our limitations to live this life with freedom, fulfilment and happiness.
In one chapter he shares a perspective on discernment and judgement. It is a refreshing perspective that helps us find the lessons we need in our errors and our mistakes so that we can use any learnings without need for unbeneficial self-abuse.
To judge is often out of the insecurities of one’s person. If I judge you for following religion perhaps I am simply jealous of the comfort you find in faith. I may just lack understanding and if that is the case what gives me the right to judge. It could be that my beliefs don’t align with the beliefs of such faith and how one should best live life yet what are my beliefs others than an individual perspective of facts and non-fact?
Judging ourselves carries much the same significance. A judge is a person qualified to give opinion on something yet how can any of us claim to be a good judge. For much or reality is made from the creativeness of the human mind and consciousness. Beliefs and opinions form much of what is life but there is always another view on any one topic.
If we can observe rather than judge, we allow ourselves greater understanding of all the facts and therefore may be in a better position to make the next move. For the benefit of our own life the inner critic should be dealt with in this manner. Understand why you see things the way you do or why things are or have happened as they have. This will assist to put us in a position of advantage rather than a position of limitation.
Work from a place of kindness, compassion, understanding and love within and we just may find this exerts its way into the progression of our lives. A wise person is committed to understanding themselves as they relate to the world and books like this help us do that. Good work Mark!
If this book sounds of interest you can purchase Make Peace with Your Mind here.
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