A coworker came to work walking really slow yesterday. Turns out, she had not watched her step in the parking lot, and tripped on one of the cement car bumpers. The immediate consequences were a bad fall, and a big scare. The next day, she woke up with her entire left side blackened and a horrible pain in her chest. At the emergency room, she was told she had fractured her ribs.
It could have been worse. She could have fallen on her head or broken her back.
This is what happens when the mind is not present.
Mindfulness practice is not just a means towards increased happiness. It is also an insurance against unnecessary pains, big and small. Accidents, costly oversights, words spoken too fast, broken friendships, bad decisions, missed appointments, lost wallets . . . Can you think of times when not being mindful caused you much grief?
Watching each step, each breath, each thought, each word, each emotion.
I am sorry she had to suffer pain but perhaps she can take a measure of comfort in that her accident is a visible contribution to the sangha -- as a reminder to be mindful and as testimony to the illusion of control we harbor. That illusion tempts us from consistent practice of mindfulness... Oh, the number of times I could cite!!! :-)ReplyDelete
"Right Mindfulness" certainly means "pay attention" in many respects, from paying attention to whether ones shoes are untied, to being mindful of the true nature of our bodies, feelings, and minds.ReplyDelete
JDB, yes, thank you. I, too, needed that reminder from my friend . . . Mindfulness as refuge, and safety from our 'self'.ReplyDelete
E. do you know about Sharon Salzberg's story of her interview once with U Pandita. He asked her which shoe she had tied first that morning, and when she could not remember, he dismissed her . . .ReplyDelete