‘The landlord incident’ this student refers to is a story I told the Mindsight Intensive class, because it had happened the afternoon prior to the evening class, and my energy and information flow was still, albeit subtly, affected by it. To make a longer story short, I had had a shouting match over the phone with my office building landlord’s lawyer, who rudely and loudly interrupted me and was unreasonably trying to argue me into the ground about some items regarding a lease. While this was going on, I had followed the energy and information flow quite closely as it unfolded between us, inside him and inside me. I had been able to catch a softening change my raised voice had triggered in him, capitalized on it, and in the end we were best friends again and he gave in to my more than reasonable requests. This incident provoked a few questions from the students that night. I then later received the following email from one of my students:
I wanted to thank you for sharing your experience last week – the ‘landlord incident’. Since joining the Mindsight Intensive I sometimes feel like a bit of a fraud. Whether I am lucky, in-tune, or completely missing the point and doing something wrong, I have more often than not been able to access that “deep space” where I can feel like a connected observer both within and without. And over the years I have noticed an increasing “breath” or pause between my emotional reactions and my responses to different situations (from relationships to parenting to pain management etc). This has been a blessing for me in many ways. However, many times I am still my own worst critic, thinking “I should be more calm”, or “I should feel things with less intensity”, or quite simply “Nothing has changed”. But last week you reminded me that the purpose of exploring mindfulness is not to achieve a calm and zen-like state every hour of every day. It is to accept who we are, and where we are at, with non-judgmental openness and love. It is to engage in meditations with curiosity and acceptance while paying attention in a very specific way. It is not to feel less or be forever calm, but to be able to experience the ups and downs with more openness, acceptance and less resistance, with less suffering (maybe eventually even no suffering), with understanding, and with recovery from our emotional moments that clears an open path for the next experience, which is untainted from the last one. At least, this is what the exploration of mindfulness has meant to me. I am not a failure because I have not achieved perfection – I am human, accepting, and open to life, because of all of its imperfections and because I no longer live within a dialogue and life experience of misery. I am able to find more pleasure and peace in the day to day.
So again, Thank you.”
I could not have formulated it better and more clearly.
Copyright © 2018 by Dr. Stéphane Treyvaud. All rights reserved.