The struggle with mindfulness

Hold the experience, I’m told. Stay with it, be in it.

I take my agitation in a fierce gaze, in a bid to stare it down. Don’t react. I squeeze my eyes shut tightly. If I don’t see it, I won’t explode. The bile rises. Steam gathers. My cheeks get hot. No, no, no, no, no.

I react.

Exhale. A split second of relief. That’s as long as it lasts.

And then, regret. Waves and waves of it roll forcefully over me. I shouldn’t have said those unkind words, I could have been more generous-spirited, he/she/it deserved compassion. The self-lashes sting, tears fill. I’m better than this. I’m more than that. All that sitting, all that reflection, destroyed in a flash of righteous anger.

Shantideva says, be still as a log. It rings through me. Yes, do nothing. When tempted to respond in condescending contempt. When feeling the itch to respond. When the wrong is so obviously asking to be righted.

Whatever it is, let it be. Fall into it, become it. Then there’s nothing to fight, no thing to wrestle down, no wrong, and no right.

Mindfulness. Leaving aside all that should be for all that is.


About Archana

I'm Indian and Canadian, and many other countries in between. I read comics every morning and believe the world could do with slowing down.
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