I was reading today,as is so often the case, and came across an article about the speed that our world
requires us to think and process information….and the result. When we get up in the morning ( if we
had the luxury of a peaceful night’s rest) our neural system springs into action…planning our day …We shower, and
think about the day’s schedule, and brush out teeth,shave,and tidy our hair while our brain is reviewing the
human interactions planned . WE email,tweet,and Facebook over dinner,and have text message conversations,
while our loved ones, and friends sit across from us. I am never ceased to be amazed at our collective human behaviour….
We sit in a room or around a table with friends,and family …and we are texting each other. We actually are often texting
several people at once, and we end up paying attention to nothing. So many ideas and activities are occurring at the
same time , that we end up missing the essence of all of them !!!
In essence, we practise mindlessness rather than mindfulness..We operate on autopilot and miss most of the beauty of
what is available all around us, every day. The result is a world filled with anxiety,depression,panic disorder,striving for
no good reason,high levels of chronic pain,high blood pressure ,leading to vascular events such as heart attack and stroke.
Our world has an epidemic of fibromyalgia, addiction to drug/alcohol use,sexual addiction, shopping addiction…the list goes on.
As it turns out, none of the behaviours humans commonly use to call their minds,or nerves, or numb their feelings provide relief.
Predictably, for a period of time, we try to seek stronger and more ” effective” remedies …The pharmaceutical Industry
has mastered developing products and marketing them to an over stimulated society on overdrive.
So…what to do?
The key is simple…The implementation is meeting high levels of resistance. The key is to slow down and focus on the present.
This is called mindfulness. A famous physician, John Kabat-Zinn coined the term mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
The essence of this involves stress-reducing techniques drawn from Buddhist meditation.The concept is to pay attention in a particular way.
Simply you purposely engage your mind and attention to what is happening moment to moment,without drifting into thoughts that
about past concerns,future worries,or judgements of any kind.
The payoff ???? It’s actually quite impressive.A recent study by the American Heart Association has shown the technique to reduce
anxiety,stress,chronic pain,depression,high blood pressure,high cholesterol,and reduce heart attack /stroke rates. In the Educational System,
( for children and adolescents) mindfulness can bolster memory,attention,and concentration ( A powerful tool given the epidemic of ADHD in our
schools today ) Aggressive children could better develop self-control and reduce the emotional intensity of situations.
Imagine how that could be useful in a country like the United States, where powerful emotion is sometimes manifest on the business end
of an automatic assault weapon with a large ammunition clip. The results of NOT doing something for our
overstimulated society on autopilot have been painfully obvious and the subject of much material on the nightly news
Henry David Thoreau once said that ” If you want to be happy then,BE”
The benefits are many and the techniques are simple. More on all of this in a future posting. For now, I have to get back to my
meditation time, and then back to my wine…….. Remember ……we are all spirits having a physical human experience ….We need to feed the
spirit in order for the human experience to be more soulful .