Feeling content

When we need something, anything, to change – whether we want to feel better, look better, or that we want something to stop, or go away – we are in re-action to life as it is.  We are discontent with life as it is; we are unhappy. 

Detachment is a practice that allows us to stay present, rather than react.  When we are present, we cultivate a state of calm.  We think more clearly. Action that arises from being calm and present to life as it is, is free from the unhappiness that underpins desire for change. 

When we develop a practice of detachment, we learn to watch our desire for change, and our fear that things may not be changing. 

Detachment is not dis-interest.  Dis-interest is a shutting out, or blocking off from the experience we are having. Dis-interest is a denial of life as it is. It is a re-action that comes from the discomfort of feeling powerless.

Dis-interest is an attempt at ‘not’ feeling. We do not want to have the feelings we are having and we seek to avoid them. The feelings that arise are confronting to us and we may not have the skills to work through those feelings.

In yoga it is understood that attachment and aversion, or desire and fear, are the same force.  It is being expressed in different ways.

Desire and fear disturb our perception of events. They confuse our understanding of life as it is.  In the confusion, it is easy to become needy – seeking, grasping, desiring that things change.

Life lived from desire or fear is bound to arrive into a state of discontent.  We might achieve that thing (which can be anything from losing weight to getting a new job) that we have been desiring, only to feel empty again after a short while.  We are still unhappy.

When we pay attention to life as it is, our relationship to life changes.  We are no longer living in our thoughts and memories, our imaginations.  When we are deeply attentive to a situation, we become calm because the nervous system changes.  Our brain, and emotional faculties, function differently.  We are available to the experience – the experience of life as it is; and life becomes as a journey of learning and growing, rather than an experience of desire and fear.

Our actions, when we are deeply attentive, are not from desire to change, but rather we change, and actions become the result, or outcome of change – change that has already occurred within us. Things change as we change. 

Develop a practice that trains your mental antennae.. what your mind pays attention to.  Pay close attention to what your experience is, moment by moment. Engage in whatever the moment offers with heart and interest.  In this way you bring, to each moment, your Self. A Self that is not broken. Not needing change.  Every activity or task is part of your life.  Each moment is your life. To live it, requires that you pay attention to it.  Fears and desires are reactions to the past and the future.  Moment is the only place you actually live your life.  Practice being in the power of your own presence.

Polly

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