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9. The Dude & Mindfulness

Updated: Jan 16


So, on the way to work this morning, I wanted to write a different blog post for this site but something happened... 



"Life is giving us exactly what we hope for, and yet, we can easily walk right passed it."


So Easy to Miss Life, Man


While getting out of the car...

 

I picked up my laptop bag and tote bag then began marching towards the office ready for my morning's work, but...

 

then, I felt the soft warming breeze brush against my face on this glorious spring morning and how the temperature was my favourite, around 20-25 degrees.  Perfect.  But really, I'd love to be smelling the flowers, and reclining in a hammock than walking to the office.  

 

Then it hit me.

 

I was walking passed some flowers while I was thinking this.


I was wishing to be taking it easy and making time to smell flowers while missing the ones that were here, right now, in this moment.

 

So, I instantly slowed down.  Took some time to savour the breeze, to breathe in the fragrance of the blossoms here, and to feel the sunlight on my skin.

 

If we are not careful, we can miss the very fact that life is giving us exactly what we hope for, and yet, we can easily walk right passed it.

 

And Yoda (Star Wars) might say, "You must of the moment be aware, or life you will miss."

 

Which brings me to the point of this post - mindfulness. 



"Breathing in, I am washing dishes... No!"


Why I Don't Like Mindfulness

I don't like mindfulness. 


Well, at least not the way it's often taught in Zen. 


Zen will tell you that when you are washing the dishes, you must be fully aware that you are washing the dishes.  And you might get a little mindful speech to tell yourself, "Breathing in, I am washing the dishes.  Breathing out, I know I am washing the dishes."

 

Oh dear.

 

When thinking of a million-and-one other things while washing the dishes you might not be truly present in what you do because you have a mind that is full of other stuff, however, telling yourself that you are being mindful right now, is still having a full mind. 


Are we not swapping a mind full of thoughts for a mind full of thoughts? Are we saying that it is better to be talking to yourself to maintain an awareness of what you are doing than talking to yourself about something that you are not doing?


Does this differ in any way to the Dudeist Limber Mind?



The Limber Mind

Unlike mindfulness, we don't need to be watchful of what we are doing.  We don't need to catch ourselves, stop our over-thinking, or convince ourselves that we are in the moment. The Dude knows to not trip ourselves up with too much rushing, too much having to be somewhere, and too much, er, where was I now?

 

A limber mind is at peace with whatever is. Even if that is a full mind or an empty mind. Even if that means missing the moment. A limber mind isn't caught by the moment, or a need to capture it to feel alive.


It's alright if you find yourself being tense.  This is how it works.  One day, you go from being stressed and squeezed most of the day and noticing any little moments of peace, to largely being tranquil for much of the day and then noticing the times you feel stressed.  That's better, isn't it?

 

Forget the now.  Forget thinking.  And slow down.  Then you get to see what you are seeing.



Image by Bonnie Lierenz

 

The Dude is the one sitting on the left.

 

It's that simple.

 

Woof.

 

Until next time.


Peace.


Rev. Thomo.


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