Thursday, October 20, 2011

mindfulness


I have a dear friend who,when she became a Buddhist, gave me the Rosary that her favorite Aunt had given here when she was a child.It has a sterling silver cross and crystal beads and is quite beautiful.I have lost it twice and twice it has come back to me.I treasure it and our twenty year friendship.

Perhaps because of her,I am open to learning about Buddhist thought and find some aspects very interesting.When I wander through the gentle teaching often I will bump up against the idea of mindfulness.It is hard for me to get my mind around this in a behavior changing way .If you are doing dishes,do dishes and focus your mind on that not on the person who cut you off in traffic three weeks ago.Be present to the present moment as much as possible.

If we are in the habit of roaming blithely through the land mines of the past or peeking endlessly into the fear fraught,nuclear winter of the future,this change is not easy.Scripture supports this "present" notion when encouraging us to not worry about the future,it has it's own challenges.Most of what we worry about never happens so we are tarnishing the present with worthless negatives.

I have for a very long time been afraid of heaven.I know a Christian should be headed that way and looking forward to it.It's the idea of forever that stops me cold.Like falling off a cliff into infinity.That is so scary to me.Whatever I am doing will NEVER end.I can't handle that.I know, with our limited minds we think in finite terms so we can't get it. Maybe the Buddhists can help me here.

We have many accounts of near death experiences that tell us what heaven might be like.Suppose heaven is always the present.Our thoughts are on the bliss we are in,the Love at hand and we don't need or want to be anywhere else in our minds.No future,no fear.No past,no pain.Just now and it is exactly what we were made for.It fits who we were created to be.Completely.I can do that.

6 comments:

Ryan said...

again Sharon, your words take me down the path that your currently tread with imagery and feeling. Mindfulness is a difficult practice, to stay absoloutely present takes time to master... just as time to pray, time to heal, and time to love... they all come in their own way to touch us where we need to be touched.
Beautiful post my friend.

sharon graham said...

Ry,what you wrote brought this to mind.Prayer for me is a habit and I feel empty without it.But it wasn't in the beginning.So to heal,pray,love and be mindful takes effort and practise.Thank you for deepening for me what I wrote.God bless you!!!!

Missy said...

I would like to be better at this!

sharon graham said...

Missy,
I think if we were we would be much less stressed...praying we can both do better....

kris spikes said...

The tattoo on my left wrist, written in Sanskrit, reads, "Live in the moment".

timplamondon said...

This piece makes me mindful of the last four things: death, judgment, pain, and joy. In particular death, for mindfulness of death reminds us of the present. I mean, that by remembering that death is really our next door neighbor, each moment in our lives will be precious, and we will give up thinking about our anxieties. From the time we are born, we're all marching towards death. Being mindful of death is not morbid or ghastly, it's a spiritual weapon against the spiritual sickness of restlessness. It plants us in the present and spurs us on towards home.

Remembering death will relieve us of the fear of the future b/c it allows us, if we choose, to use our imagination to go beyond our understanding. Remembering death is much like the description Rilke, the poet, gives of the artist; an artist accesses the unsayable of his consciousness, and with deep humility and patience goes to a new horizon of thought, a new clarity. Time is not measured. Likewise remembering death gives us access the invisible within our conscience and moves us to a point of clarity where our faith in Jesus Christ becomes stronger and our anxieties and fears about the future disappear.

A Taoist would say that when we die, what dies is merely the identification of parts that make up the person, and what stays alive is our internal identity. A Taoist calls this internal identity one's personal Tao. A Christian calls it the soul. The soul continues on into eternity. We are made up to two parts: a body and a soul. The body is carnal and fleshy and dies to earth. But our soul is incorporal and spiritual and continues to live on into eternity after our bodies die. So why would anyone place their attention on something that is temporary instead of on something that is for ever and ever.