The new Everyday Mindfulness blog is from Toffer Surovec, whose regular blog can be found here. The blog teaches an important lesson: that it’s no use pretending to ourselves that we don’t need to practise regularly. Our brains tend towards mindlessness when we don’t devote the time to being in the present moment on purpose. When we begin to let the past or the future influence us too much, we make decisions and say things that aren’t good for us.
Falling Off The Cushion
There’s a meditation timer on my phone and a zafu in my corner. Both have been used, but I can’t say I meditate because neither have been used in months. I fell off the cushion.
I fell and promised to get back on the next day. If I was as mindful as I thought, I would have known that was a lie. I told myself the same lie everyday when I looked at the todo list app on my phone and checked it off as completed.
As the days grouped together into weeks and those weeks joined each other into months, my lie stayed the same—until today.
I sat on the cushion and did a solid three minutes today. It made me think, even though I was trying to do just the opposite.
When meditating you are suppose to let thoughts float through and out of your mind without grabbing onto them. I would tell myself, “Tomorrow” and the thoughts of how I was lying would come into my mind. The thought would float from my subconscious into the front of my mind like a baseball floats into a living room through a closed window. Every day I would have more broken glass and more baseballs to ignore.
As someone with depression, I know there’s a comfort in ignoring things. Yes, I stepped on the glass sometimes, but I thought I deserved the bloody feet and went on with it. Luckily, I have people in my life to tell me I was tracking in my blood on their carpet. I was hurting people. I was hurting people by not being mindful. I lost what control I had of my thoughts and with that I lost the ability to step outside of myself. I became more reactive than reflective. I wouldn’t say I was an animal, but I would say I was a machine. The purpose of my gears and cogs were apparently to make the people who love me ask me what was wrong and to offend them—not always in that order.
I haven’t talked to anyone since my three minutes today. I won’t assume it has changed me back to the person I was or has even changed me at all, but I am on the right track to cleaning up all that glass.