So these past few years have seen many fits and starts and stops on my journey towards mindfulness.
At various times, different sources have all pointed in that direction, articles and blogs on zen, on counseling and psychology, and the latest one from the recent yoga classes. They all emphasize your being in the moment, being aware. being mindful. just observing. feeling. experiencing. not resisting, not reacting. not judging. just being conscious.
Its been a lot of hard work, and a lot of setbacks. and a lot of soul - searching. And huge long breaks for months, even an year, where i regressed back to complete reactive , non-mindful behavior. But lately, I have tried hard once again. People jumping red lights and trying to run me down on the road. Immediate reaction used to be to try and hit back their car. Quite laughable, and quite rage filled. Tiny puny pedestrian flailing in the middle of the road, hitting car bonnets with handbags. Of course, it didn't do any good, either for the people jumping lights, or for my own state of mind. But once I step back now, and just think, yes these people are trying to save some 5 seconds from their commute, by fair means of foul. They don't have a thing against you personally, just that in their mind its a fight. Maybe thats all they know, zero sum games. Thats them. Perhaps. Or perhaps thats them, in my mind. What about me? What makes me mad? Why does a broken rule and minor discomfort in crossing for 5 seconds make me so furious? What do I fear? What do I hope to achieve? All those questions over the last few weeks, while observing my own reaction. Not trying to change it. And of course gradually it does change. The more root cause analysis I do of the reaction, the more it reveals. Mostly about me.
Some days it feels nice. More calmness, less reaction. Some days it feels not so nice. When you have unearthed some reasons for your reactions, but you see no change in them anyway. Thats when it actually feels worse. At least angry and self - righteous, you didn't have to confront uncomfortable truths. As they say that 'everything is about you, your reaction, your problem'.
Its when I feel in the dumps like that, that I wonder, how does a tibetan monk actually maintain that calm? How did gandhi keep up that smile? What do you do when you know that something wrong has been done to you, that you have been taken advantage of, and your struggle notwithstanding, nothing is likely to change. You can't really stop struggling, you can't give up your tibet.. but somewhere perhaps you also know, nothing is going to get it back.