Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit

A Year of Mindfulness-Notice Dislike

4 Comments

How did you do last week with becoming aware of the ground beneath you? Did you practice grounding yourself to the earth?

In the past two years my awareness of the ground beneath me has become greater because it is part of my walking practice. When my sciatic nerve problem flared up a while ago, I worked with a physical therapist who assessed my walking as part of a comprehensive evaluation. One area that I had to work on was walking. Walking with my weight on the big toe side of my foot. Not the baby toe side of my foot which had been my “normal” for, well, my whole life.

This simple act of grounding my feet, literally feeling the ground beneath me as I walked, improved my awareness of the ground and also the strength in my quads. It caused me to be more balanced when I walked. I guess you could say grounding myself to the earth, literally and figuratively, improved my back pain.

This Week’s Practice: Notice Dislike

This week’s practice asks us to become aware of dislike. Not just the big emotions, like anger or hatred, but the minor emotions as well, such as irritation. Another timely practice given our current election cycle and world situation.

When we do this practice, it is common to realize that aversion or dislike is much more frequent in our emotional landscape than we may have originally thought. You may find that you start your day with dislike when the alarm goes off in the morning. You get out of bed and your back is stiff. You have to wait in line at Dunkin Donuts. You harrumph at the morning news (my favorite.)

It is important that we become aware of dislike or aversion because this is the hidden source of anger and aggression. It arises from the thought that if we could manage to get rid of something or someone, then we’d be happy.

Think about it. If you could arrange things just as you want them, so that you’d be happy, this perfection would only last a few seconds because our “perfect” is not “perfect” to anyone else. Forcing perfection on the world is bound to fail because of impermanence. Nothing lasts forever.

This week, become aware of dislike and aversion. Learn to counteract it with appreciation of things as they are. Find the positive in the negative.

Reflection: Anger does not cease through anger, but through love alone. -Buddha

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4 thoughts on “A Year of Mindfulness-Notice Dislike

  1. This is quite an interesting mindfulness practice, Amy! The first thing that comes to mind for me today is my daily interactions with people of a victim mentality. I try to observe their behavior as neutrally as possible and use it as a teaching to learn how to see it in myself but sometimes their whiny, “woe is me”, “my life is so hard” mentality can be really irritating to deal with constantly! Anyway, the positive side of that is that I personally choose to be empowered and not be a victim. What aversion/dislike came up for you?

    • I agree, Karen, that this is an interesting mindfulness practice. I found myself becoming more attune to the small dislikes, such as grumbling when the alarm goes off in the morning, dragging myself to exercise, or becoming tense when I feel a twinge in my lower back. Trying to find the positive in each of these events can be difficult-especially the morning alarm :-)

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