Thursday, July 4, 2013

MINDFULNESS AMID THE MIGHTY WAVES OF THE SEA

‘The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many
waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.’ Ps 93:4.

Life can be very hard and tough at times, and unless we too are mentally tough we run the risk of going under, so to speak. The regular practice of mindfulness can help you to stay afloat, even in the face of the ‘mighty waves of the sea.’

As I have pointed out in several other posts, the Bible is an Eastern book, or collection of books, and much of its teachings are ‘occult’ (that is, hidden) in the sense that there is often a deeper, inner meaning to the literal words. This deeper, inner meaning quite often comes to light when you realize that much of the Bible is written in a ‘sacred language’ that is common to most other sacred books as well as myths and fairy tales.


So, when we come to the words ‘the Lord,’ we are talking about the activity of your ‘I am-ness’ (that is, the state and ground of being) in you, from one moment to the next. Metaphysically, the words ‘the Lord’ refer to the creative power of life and thought operating within each of us, as we understand and apply that power. If, for example, you attach your ‘I am-ness’ to negative emotions and mind-states such as anger and resentment, you will inevitably act out those emotions in your daily life. Now, the expression ‘the Lord on high’ refers to an elevated state of consciousness characterized by peace of mind, equanimity, and serenity. Please note that when I use the word ‘elevated’ I am not referring to some supposed higher order or level of reality or plane of consciousness. No, the word ‘elevated’ simply means enlightened, awakened, and mindful. You are in an elevated state of consciousness when you refuse to allow yourself to be moved or deflected by internal or external states of affairs.

The word ‘water,’ or ‘waters,’ when used in sacred scripture, refers to your mind or consciousness as well as the contents of your mind. The latter include mind-states of all kinds as well as moods.  If, for example, there is anger and resentment ‘in’ you, there is much ‘noise’ (mental and emotional turbulence) and when things really get heated up in your mind there come ‘mighty waves’ (torment). We have all experienced these mind-states.
 

The regular practice of mindfulness helps us to stay grounded in the now, no matter how much noise there is, and even when there are mighty waves. When you are present mindfully, you watch and observe the waves of the sea (the content of your mind), you hear the noise of the waters, but you do not react, judge, condemn, or dwell upon those events. The latter are not you, the person that you are; they are ‘illusory,’ not in the sense that they are not real, but in the sense that they have no separate, independent, permanent existence apart from the person that you are.

Mindfulness is a powerful means to self-liberation and the development of mental toughness. Here’s one way it works. You feel anger building up in your consciousness. Something ‘internal’ (eg a thought or memory) may have triggered the emergence of this mind-state, or it may have been something ‘external’ (eg some words spoken by another person). Instead of identifying with and dwelling upon the anger, saying, ‘I am angry,’ you simply observe the content of the mind-state, interiorly saying to yourself, ‘There is anger in me,’ or ‘Anger, anger.’ The anger is not you, it is simply something happening ‘in’ you. You have a choice. You don’t need to identify with it. Just observe and note---and then let it be. It will pass. All such mind-states come and go. They have no power to hurt you or others unless you choose to attach your ‘I am-ness’ to the content of the mind-state. Take responsibility for these mind-states, and make a decision to do something positive about them (for example, letting them be, and then letting them go as they will in time), but do not claim ownership of them. Don’t make them ‘you,’ that is, the person that you are.

Yes, the life in you, as you, is mightier than the noise of many waters, even mightier than the mighty waves of the sea.



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