Exercises in Mindfulness: Keeping In-Form
The essence of Nature is expressed through the forms of nature. This exercise looks at ways that useful form practices can be cultivated.
‘In the landscape of spring there is neither better nor worse.
The flowering branches grow naturally long or short’.
All are in harmony with the season, obey the season out of their inherent nature! Each according to their form. So the form and ‘keeping the form’ also keeps us in harmony with what is.
This month we pay heed to ‘keep the form’, and we also work with what that form contains — a bundle of raw energy that flares into conflagration as soon as ‘my’ feelings, dislikes, notions are ‘touched’. To come to grips with this bundle, we have to be very humble and thus become aware how often during the day we have a faint, immediate reaction of ‘No’ — and instantly forget it because it is so ‘small’ that it does not interfere with what we are engaged in. So, metaphorically, we ‘brush it under the carpet’. There they accumulate and sooner or later — often when the ‘outward pressure’ is off, or back at home after a ‘trying day’, the energy explodes and discharges itself over some triviality — ‘making a mountain out of a mole-hill’. Or the energy may ‘implode’ — with resulting depression which can become habitual.
So it is important to become aware of every little ‘No’ and to ‘live’, that is to endure, that energy which, being little, is not a great issue. But I like to brush it aside as unimportant, not really ‘worth my consideration’. So please, for this month, just daily attention to all those little ‘No’s’. Keep a tally of their number, truly ‘live’ all of them — and see how it is by the end of the month. Has a change taken place?
One way to do this is the place a handful of paperclips in one pocket each morning and each time a ‘No’ reaction is met to transfer one over to the other pocket. Keep a tally each evening and see if awareness of them increases?
This is also working with the Bull: awareness of the many little ‘involuntary’ small ‘no’s’ a day, the ‘not just now, can’t, won’t’, and instead work with them. Give them house-room but do not give in to them! This truly brings acquaintance with the emotional household (Bull) and as this becomes familiar and no longer has the power to carry away, a relationship grows and eventually the Bull can be faced — my basic fear and resistances. Eye to eye with the Bull and no longer ‘overpowered’, then something ‘gives’. Experiment! How does it go?
You will find previous Exercises in Mindfulness here.
Text copyright to The Zen Gateway
A few paperclips of different colours... By Hawyih - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2169507