Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters


Transitions Into Spring

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak


winter_spring
The weather is such a great metaphor. Spring is reluctant to arrive. On a Monday it was 80 degrees and then on Wednesday it snowed several inches. The nights have continued to be below freezing and the greening landscape is shy to come forth.

We are variations of energy, mood, and awareness. Unlike the weather, it is harder to predict our own vicissitudes. Yet, with practice, these changes won’t matter so much.

When it is cold, we put on more layers, perhaps we’ll even shiver. When it is hot, we’ll take off those layers and perhaps we’ll shiver. We can meet the present moment conditions as they are.

If we can relinquish our desire for them to be a particular way, the sweating and shivering won’t be a problem. We aim to respond skillfully to the conditions of each moment.

The rising and falling of emotions always reveals something about what we want and don’t want in that moment. It’s amazing how many desires we have. It’s as if we are nothing else. What would happen if all the desires were stripped away?

I am sitting eating ice cream and cake. I notice that I don’t want the pleasant sensations to go away, so I am risk for gluttony. I was just out walking outside in the relative mild temperatures (nearly 60 degrees). The dogs were romping and the grass was greening. I wanted to enjoy a sense of peacefulness but then there were other people and there was an altercation. Not really an altercation, just an interaction. I had to tell someone that they shouldn’t be doing something that they were doing. All sorts of wanting adhere to this exchange. I wanted to make things right. I didn’t want to be seen in negative light. I felt a mild influx of agitated energy encroaching on that peaceful state. I could go on an on cataloguing this intricate web of cravings but I’ll spare you. Suffice it to say, things change, inexorably.

Yet, a greater sense of countenance can prevail when I stay with my breathing and make the small efforts to disentangle my attention from the ceaseless flux of conditions, desires, and grasping.

I can feel time moving too. It is moving at a faster rate than I would like, the weekend slipping away. Here too, I can remind myself that I participate in the construction of time. If I enhance the resolution of my attention on the present moment, time will slow down. The markers that make it go fast will drop away and I’ll just be here with whatever experience is prevailing now.

Just as we are transitioning from winter into spring, we are always transitioning from one moment to the next and from one state to another. Happy next moment!



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