Mindfulness is not just a lonely practice. It can also take place in the act of active relating to another person. Today, as I went for a long walk with Prad and the dog, I thought I would use the time to see how much I could be present, with him. Listening, actively listening to his words, and the feelings behind his words.
It started off well, as I let him tell his story, and I responded, elaborating with some twist. Soon, however, judging mind interrupted and offered some discouraging thoughts, "I have heard this story before", "This is not very interesting", "I don't want to partake in idle speech" . . . excuses for listening heart to take a vacation. No, I would not indulge. Instead, continue to listen, and respond, out of loving, selfless place. Listen. Listen. Listening is hard. I noticed the I inside getting agitated, more and more, asking 'how about me?' Disappointed with myself, for being so I-centered, still. Oh! pride . . . and the unnecessary burden of judgement, this time towards self. At least, I was aware. I could talk to the I, and appease it, while I continued to go about my business. Listening, responding, being with Other.
Humbling practice in concentration, and mindfulness, and love. To be continued . . .