Once upon a very long and indeed ancient time, people walked barefoot and contracted lots of foot injuries. To solve this problem, their king had an interesting idea – to pave all paths in the whole kingdom with leather. The idea was soon rejected as too expensive and unsustainable. The king’s fool suggested: “Why not put leather around every person’s feet?” This is how shoes were invented.
Instead of trying to pave the whole kingdom of your life by trying to control circumstances, engage your MPC (medial prefrontal cortex) to put awareness around your being’s soul, the way the king put leather around his people’s soles.
You have little control over circumstances, uncertainty reigns supreme and over your lifetime you will lose everything. You have however almost full control over the attitude with which you use your attention:
Attention that is aimed and sustained (ASA) with the right attitude (COAL – curiosity, openness, acceptance and love) creates mindful awareness (MA):
COAL + ASA = MA (mathematics 101!)
Then, awareness buffers the harshness of reality the way leather buffers the rough terrain.
Like a magic wand, what awareness touches gets transformed – where awareness goes, neurons fire, and where they fire, they rewire! Awareness changes the energy flow it is aware of by opening this flow towards the field of virtually infinite possibilities. How does that practically feel?
ABSTINENCE, ladies and gentlemen. Not the catholic ‘stay-away-from-pleasure-because-it-is-a-sin’ asceticism! Abstinence in the sense of ‘observation instead of giving into automatic impulses‘ – you crave? … don’t grasp! you feel aversion? … don’t avoid! you feel indifference? … don’t ignore! You want a cute acronym? Here it is: YODA: You Observe and Decouple Automaticity (courtesy D. Siegel). You create an awareness gap between impulses and actions. In this awareness gap you find liberation.
Awareness thus opens up choices. With choice comes spaciousness, providing a buffer between pain and the addiction of suffering, and with spaciousness comes peace – and with peace (independent from circumstance!) over your life time you will gain everything.
Yes, suffering is an addiction – we crave it, believe it or not! and it makes us sick. We crave relief from pain and reach for the drug of reactivity to pursue the illusion of immediate pain relief – that is suffering.
Why do we crave suffering? Why is peace and contentment so hard to come by? Do you know?
Copyright 2012 by Dr. Stphane Treyvaud. All rights reserved.