From the BlogMeet Ron

2-23-17 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

2-23-17 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

Dear friends,
Lots of folks who start out on this journey of mindfulness insist they are meditating incorrectly, otherwise there would be some awesome results by now, they reason.
 
Why else would so many people be into this, if the results don’t come?
I hear this all the time. Folks seem to really get convinced that they’re doing their meditation wrong. 
 
This can lead to believing it must be the technique, which can lead to years of “pinball practice” – going from one technique, teacher, or tradition to another.
 
From my point of view as a group leader, just about everyone who thinks that they’re doing mindfulness wrong — is actually doing it right.
 
Sure, it takes a while to reap the benefits of mindfulness we read about, but learning and following the simple guidelines of mindfulness meditation takes just a few minutes. You just have to dedicate the time, and the rest will follow.
 
Rather seamlessly, I would add. 
 
So let’s look at a few ways you could actually mess up in your mindfulness meditation practice. If you find yourself doing one of these, no worries, each one is easy to remedy. 
 
I think the most common one is the one I just mentioned: being convinced, despite an utter lack of evidence, that indeed you are indeed screwing up, even after hearing many times that you really can’t do mindfulness wrong – more on this at the end of this email.
 
Here are 4 ways that you can impede the development of your mindfulness meditation practice. 
 
1. Daydreaming on purpose — you know, you’re sitting there, and suddenly get distracted by some thought that suddenly pops up, and at some level of awareness you notice you have been distracted, but the distraction is so darn juicy that you follow it anyway. 
 
The best poke bowl in the world, that amazing wave, and oh, that attractive someone at work. You get the idea.
 
Nothing wrong with some healthily fantasizing, but after a few mental notes of “fantasizing, fantasizing” do get back to the meditation task at hand: breath, body sensations, you know the drill. 
 
That was an easy fix — just try not to indulge in self-criticism about this. It happens to everyone. 
 
2. Falling asleep on purpose– similar scenario here: some part of awareness notices you are getting a little sleepy, and it feels kind of delicious, but at that moment there is a choice to indulge, and next thing you know the bell rings and you have been unconscious in la-la land. 
 
Easy fix – as mindfulness improves you are able to catch sleepiness sneaking up on you and make a conscious decision to open your eyes, or stretch a little before getting back to the cushion.
 
Just try not to indulge in self-criticism about this. It happens to everyone.
 
3. Trying too hard – your over-achiever mode kicks in. A little trying is good; too much is not; it become self-defeating real fast. 
 
You can stress out trying to relax. 
 
This one is not too difficult to fix –notice when the body tenses up, as it does when you try too hard, and consciously allow the suggestion to relax tense muscles. 
 
The body scan is marvelous for this, I recommend it highly. 
 
If you simply notice when any of these scenarios creep in to your meditation, try as best you can to deal with them in a kind, gentle, and loving way. 
 
That’s the golden key. 
 
Which bring me back to 
 
4. Self-criticism and persistent belief that something is wrong and that we are somehow at fault.
 
I think this is the most difficult to truly overcome for some folks. It seems to be associated with what I call an unhealthy relationship with imperfection. 
 
As I mentioned in the email two weeks ago – mindfulness is not about perfection, about somehow becoming a more perfect person.
 
Tara Brach has wonderful talks about this – and I would encourage you to listen to some of her talks online if you find yourself getting battered around by self-doubt and self-criticism.
 
I will leave you with an excerpt from one of Tara’s talks:
 
True healing and change arises from acceptance and compassion. These qualities flower from mindful awareness. In order to cultivate this new approach towards imperfection (in ourselves and others), we can use mindfulness to help us remember to pause before we judge. Kindness rarely makes a person lazy. In fact, kindness and acceptance often gives us the strength to be able to make better choices, and to forgive ourselves more easily when we make ‘bad’ choices so that we can move beyond them.
 
Please stay with this marvelous practice. It has peaks and valleys, but the trick is just to bring your tush to the cush, especially on the days you just don’t feel like it.
 
You’ll thank me later.
Aloha,
Tom, Katina, and the kids
 
Sincerely,
Ron Richey
808-734-5732
545 Queen St.#701
Honolulu, Hi 96813
iamronrichey@gmail.com
www.melloron.com

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