“Every struggle is just another chance to grow and evolve.” ~Xaric
Being a mindfulness novice feels relatively hard from the point of view of a novice and someone would believe that the more someone practices mindfulness the easier the practice gets. However, the more someone progresses in the path towards a mindful living, the more demanding the practice gets, the more awareness needs to be cultivated and the more conscious effort needs to be put towards taming and understanding the power of the now.
Most novices will most likely maintain their novice status for a significant amount of time, if not forever, and that’s okay. Not everyone who practices mindfulness will become an adept and from the point of view of one who is slightly more advanced, the novice state is awesome. As far as a novice is concerned, all they have to do is merely sit for five to ten or even fifteen minutes every other day, with eyes closed, and try to win at an attention “tug of war” game played between their conscious self and their conditioned mind.
However, a practitioner who is serious about making mindfulness an integral part of their being, has come to an understanding that they have to take their practice to a whole new level and that embracing the present moment should not just be confined in those fifteen minutes of sitting time, but rather consciously cultivated 24/7/365, until it gets embedded into their subconscious mind, becoming their autopilot mode.
To master the art of being in the present, enormous amounts of patience, open-mindedness, determination, resolve and conscious effort are mandatory. Many walls have to be demolished, many obstacles have to be surpassed and above all the conditioned mind has to be subdued.
Fighting the Conditioned
Taking the first steps beyond the novice state is like moving into uncharted land. Every moment of every hour of every day becomes another chance to find our way out; an endless battle towards finding our very own self. The internal tug of war becomes an infinite part of our reality and once we start playing we can never stop.
There will be moments when we’ll be gloriously victorious.There will be moments when we’ll be ultimately defeated.
Overcoming this struggle comes with the realization that defeats are as much important as the victories. As Jason Bacchetta beautifully supports “Wisdom isn’t taught; it is not a science. Wisdom is a tattoo carved into the mind after a lifetime of defeats and victories.”
The reconciliation between victory and defeat is mandatory for the expansion of our awareness, as while practicing mindfulness we have to give up our habit of labeling anything and just experience every aspect of our moment-to-moment reality as it is, without any kind of judgement.
“The day you decide that you are more interested in being aware of your thoughts than you are in the thoughts themselves, that is the day you will find your way out.” ~Michael Singer
The transition from a novice mindfulness practitioner to a more skilled one begins taking place when we are prepared to consciously stretch our mindfulness comfort zone beyond the sitting sessions and embed it into as many moments of our regular life as we possibly can. As we attempt to become increasingly aware of our surroundings, our beliefs, our thoughts, our emotions and our entire inner state of being in general, we start to realize that everything is messed up and chaotic.
Negative emotions are our body’s feedback that our belief system, thoughts or values are out of alignment with our True Self. Mindfulness sheds light upon the darkest parts of ourselves; the parts which we were unknowingly and unconsciously burying. The more awareness we cultivate, the more those negative aspects of our selves come to the surface and the negative emotions that accompany them seem to have grown more powerful and discernible.
Our thoughts and emotions seem to be utterly out of control and basically the more we are trying to fight and change them, the more they fight back and remain unchanged.
The most powerful way to regulate our emotions is to take a step away from them; surrender ourselves to them; acknowledge them; feel them; observe them; understand their roots and finally be aware of their tendency to oscillate between existence and non-existence, just like the waves on the ocean’s surface…
Acceptance of Not Being in the Moment
One of the main struggles that I am still facing to this day, is the judgement of myself for not being in the moment. Mindfulness is about non-judgement and acceptance of every moment as it is.
Judgment builds a perception that not being in the now is an unwanted state of being and that being in the moment is the optimal way to live. While this may actually be the case, that does not mean that judging ourselves is going to assist us in embracing the now easier.
Comparing is a function of our conditioned mind. Judgment is resistance, and what we resist persists. Judging our self for not being in the now is going to always take us even further away from it.
As paradoxical as it may seem, the acceptance of the now exactly as it is, even if not being present is our present now, will always transmute our non-presence into presence and pull us back in the now effortlessly.
Please share this post with family and friends and help this website grow and evolve, as it does the same for you.