Reviewing his practice with me after having taken a course, a gentleman reported that he did not formally practice anymore, but was continuing his informal attention to mindfulness. He felt too busy to stop and formally sit, but he said he found it helpful to pay attention on the fly and it made a difference in his life. Not bad … I then invited him to join me in a formal sitting practice. We formally meditated together for 20 minutes. At the end he looks at me with a sense of surprise and said: ‘I forgot how useful this is!’

‘Use-ful’ as opposed to ‘help-ful’.

Help minimally influences our energy flow as we don’t need to use our mind to rewire the brain. By contrast, using our mind means actively riding the neurofirings of the brain so that it rewires. Submitting to the rigor of daily brain massage through skillful attentional training will make the difference between a helpful idea about mindfulness and the useful practice of mindfulness. When you follow mindfulness as a helpful idea without formal training, your life continues more or less on the same conditioned trajectory. Each moment rigidly repeats past life patterns and translates them into the next moment with a new surface veneer. Most creativity gets lost in translation. Through rigorous practice, however, mindfulness becomes useful and you recreate your life moment by moment, because each moment flexibly transforms past conditioned patterns into creatively modified ones in the next moment.

Why do we so willingly settle for passive familiarity over active creativity? Why is it so difficult to have fun AND be mindfully aware?

Stphane Treyvaud

Copyright 2012 by Dr. Stphane Treyvaud. All rights reserved.