“The realistic goal to be attained through spiritual practice is not some permanent state of enlightenment that admits of no further efforts, but a capacity to be free in this moment in the midst of whatever is happening. If you can do that, you have already solved most of the problems you will encounter in life.”-Sam Harris (Waking Up)
People report being lost in thought 47% of the time (Killingsworth & Gilbert. 2010. via The Harvard Gazette). Mindfulness Meditation, as I’m sure most of you have heard by now, is one possible remedy for your unwanted wandering or circular thoughts, anxieties, ADD, and pretty much any mental affliction you might be dealing with. At least, in most cases, it couldn’t hurt.
As you probably know, I focus exclusively on movies here on this blog. However, at the back of my mind I’ve always supposed movies to be only half of the equation. Just as it is half the title. (Experience + Film). So What is Experience? Well, for starters, I’d have to say it’s the presence of mind you bring to the party, so to speak. We’ve all had the experience of zoning out during a conversation with a loved one, or while learning, reading a book, watching a movie. Some of that is healthy. But when it’s pathological, it’s destructive. At times, for me, its gotten so bad, I literally can’t even watch a movie. Or at least, retain anything of it.
I don’t know about you, but lately I feel like I’m lost in thought much higher than the average 47%. And the consequences of that lack of attention are starting to manifest. I just blew up at my girlfriend for practically no reason at all, other than I didn’t have the presence of mind or patience to stop and think, and articulate what I was feeling, or what I wanted to say in the moment. And now we are at odds, and suffering. When I get angry like this, its almost always a reminder that I need to meditate – that I’ve gotten lazy with my mind. And that laziness leads to suffering😔
I’m going to make a follow-up post with some of my favorite mindfulness references for anybody who’s interested. Since there are far better people to listen to than me on this subject! In fact, there are some really really good ones. For starters, I recommend Sam Harris’ phenomenal, and FREE, Waking Up App. Also, Mingyur Rinpoche is one of my personal favorite instructors. He’s very down-to-earth, soothing, warm and wise. I’m having trouble locating my fav seminar of his on youtube at the moment.
What’s your experience with mindfulness? Have you tried it? Do you like it? And who are some of your favorite gurus or instructors? Thanks for reading, and stay safe.
Time to Meditate! 🧘♂️☯️