One Challenge Ends, Another Begins…and Ends. Such is Life!

Wisdom is learning what to overlook. ( William James)

Yesterday was a troubling day. In keeping with most challenges that arise in our lives, it was unexpected, complex, and disappointing. I opted to spend the evening reflecting on the incident with a bowl of homemade tomato sauce, gluten free pasta and a warm conversation with my Mum.  As my post mentioned yesterday, in what way are we able to “recover quickly” from adversities we are faced with and focus in on what’s really important here.  How can we prepare for personal hiccups and learn to simplify the seemingly complex nature of the issue at hand?  How do we chose to respond? What story do we prescribe in our mind about what is happening?  In my Monday evening Meditation class at the Tibet House, led by Dr. Miles Neale, we are learning to develop two important skills needed for mindfulness: recognition and choice.  If we choose to meditate on our breath, feeling, or an object of our liking (or disliking), we are committed to focusing on that single entity for the whole meditation. This form of concentrative meditation is intended to keep our mind from wandering and fantasizing about the very things that are causing us distress.  During the meditation, if we notice our mind slipping away, we are encouraged not to fidget or give up on the process, but instead recognize where our mind is trying to direct us and choose to come back to the breath (or object of focus).  Commensurate with all yogic practices, this teaching can be directly applied to our daily life. Yesterday, I was faced with a challenge. A big challenge. I recognized the feelings and ideas the issue was bringing up for me and made the choice to respond skillfully and recover quickly. In doing this we take back control of the feelings that begin tearing through our mind, such as anxiety, fear, anger, disappointment, regret, etc. Most importantly, we can recover quickly and stay on track.  It was a lesson learned. A very good one at that. See below for notes on what all the photos are in today’s collage!

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  1. Marsha Filia

    What a valuable reminder your blog entry carries. Each day it seems we are faced with “challenges” both large and small, and having that mindful presence to stop, recognize and choose is something we should all aspire.

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