The Practice of Serenity

Bestowing grace and serenity in one’s chaotic internal existence is paramount however at times I do take issue with notions of self-help and to what extent does one ‘persist’ to exist with activating consciousness versus existing in our present societal framework(s). I’m currently taking a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program partly funded by What-O! OHIP. Yes, it’s impressive that OHIP Canada does cover such a program at least part of its cost. A 9 week mental health and physical health, mind, body, soul connectedness program directed if not wholly at least in part by Heidi Walk, Psychiatrist. It’s an excellent 9 week intensive. I do recommend it but it clearly and easily becomes in part philosophical and leads to much internal mental analysis and self-dissection as well as intense meditative introspection. I’m finding it difficult to maintain a sense of values and principals as to how one lives when conducting a program such as this. It’s entirely post-modern in that it allows for deconstructivist point of view(s) and symbols to become abstract at such depth that we can disintegrate all into nothing. The teachings/theories of John Kabat-Zinn are in many ways far more specific and more day to day, a microcosm that tends to be more thorough than the tendency of Eckhart Tolle’s macrocosmic look at dumbing down the philosophies of ancients past such as Aristotle, Plato, Daoism, Lao Tzu, Yogis, Bhuddism and then regurgitate them as The Power of Now. I’ve read both. I’m not saying this is wrong or bad but essentially, I am of the opinion and belief that this is what he does. There is nothing New Here, I SAY! All been done before. I don’t want to get into the Quantum of it or the future past, or past future etc. But, I will say that meditation can be quite the trip taking one into a sensory experience of essentially Nirvana yet, the underlying notion that we are not our thoughts, we are nothing vast and pure emptiness, just consciousness, does become somewhat disruptive and disturbing to me as I tend to question AH. Nietzsche’s ‘to what extent’ of the Will to Power. To what extent can we become ‘nothingness’ we are in a body. We are in spirit, there is form. So, I do have trouble with this. No, the road to enlightenment isn’t meant to be without recourse or a rhetoric of its own yet, it’s a clever approach to coping in a society and world of pseudo maximized stress and anxiety injecting based systems of survival. How can one NOT have anxiety attacks consistently with the ‘job hunting’ structure in our current present day systematic manner of hiring for a job process. It’s grueling. Frustrating. We are forced to de-program our natural emotional instinctual reactive responses of flight or fight to a new consciousness of endurance, patience, virtue, sublimation. AH. AH. AH. OHM NE PADME HUM. The Practice of Serenity.

What I have discovered is that this process is effective just as reading DNA samples can be. It is that 15 minute daily manner of breathing, sitting, being and reflection that every pre-post-colonial culture and each ancient religious practice should be privy to in our mixing ‘global’ society that is ever increasing. We need a new kind of prayer. I want to believe this is it. But, it’s tricky to insist. However, whatever form it takes, poetry, song, contemplation, hiking in the woods. The daily practice of self-reflection and self-flatulence: as some would have us believe that mindfulness practice is such, actually assists us in the process of coping and improving ourselves daily, weekly and it compounds incrementally over time to assist us in manifesting much more amazing outcomes in our own lives and our goals.

However, Mindfulness and Meditation are different things yet, they are inter-dependent and work well together. Mindfulness works inside of us as and we begin to become more developed at it the more we practice the meditation. Each feeds off the other. So, it also symbiotic and co-dependent. Meditation assists the process of using mindfulness in action, reactivity and response.

I’m glad I’m taking the program. Reading the material, engaging in the daily practice. This is my new prayer for the next while. When I was younger it was theatre school, acting, the study and the yoga and meditation that fed my passions for being an artist, which I still am. However, now with some life experience behind me and having known trauma and failure far more readily the mindfulness and the meditation have made me truly grasp the benefits of what it means to be ‘full catastrophe living’. You have your good days; you get your really fucked up ones.

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