I’ve got a long day ahead. 7 psychotherapy clients and then I have to facilitate a large mindfulness group tonight. I don’t want to do any of it. I want to stay home and write, make art, read, listen to music and just hang out. I was up most of the night. My mind racing and worrying about various things.
I get it. You don’t want to do most of the things you have to do today and your mind was tripping out all night about various things that you were worried about. Seems to me like you are lost in thought.
Why do you think this?
Because you are often lost in thought. You are always thinking about stuff. Constantly.
But at least I am aware of it.
Sometimes you are. But more than not you do get caught up. Just like everyone else- lost in thought. But because you are a mindfulness teacher you think you have this more advanced ability to be aware of your thoughts and not caught up in it, but I don’t think that is true.
Really? I think I am aware that I am caught up in thought. Most of the time I am very aware of my thoughts and thinking.
Maybe. But you react to your thoughts a lot more than you need to.
This I know. My Zen Buddhist friend calls this “tripping.” I suppose I do trip a lot more than I would like. I have a lot of negative mental chatter going on in my head pretty much all the time.
Tell me about it. I know. I am in your head all the time. I have to be subjected to your “mental chatter” continually.
But I do think I do a good job of letting it go and bringing myself back to the present moment.
You are getting better at it.
Sure. I think teaching mindfulness has made you better at living in the present moment. Being lost in thought is really useless. If you are engaged in constructive thinking, then that is not a problem. But it is the habitual, non-constructive, negative mental chatter that is always looping around in your brain that messes things up. I think you have become much better at becoming aware of this mental noise and just letting it go.
Yeah. I agree. Like now. I have a long, busy day ahead of me. I hate long and busy days. I could get caught up in that downwards spiral of negativity. It is just what my brain does- negativity, negativity, negativity. But fuck it. I am letting that go and just being where I am at right now. Feet on the ground. Hearing sounds. Breathing. I am not tripping about the long day ahead or how I don’t want to do any of it. Just taking it one step at a time.
And this is what probably makes you a good mindfulness teacher even though you do not want to be a mindfulness teacher. You are practicing what you preach. You are far from being an enlightened human being but you are keeping yourself grounded and stable when up against continual negative thoughts (worry, judgment, anger).
That is worth something. Most people do not need to be enlightened. They just need help with being able to do this.
Yes. But the vast majority of people can not do this. They are lost in thought constantly and all you have to do is turn on the news to see what happens when people get lost in thought.
True. I guess it is not that the negativity and difficulty goes away when I am able to be more present. It is just that I am better able to carry the heavy load without getting buried beneath it. I can enjoy my life a bit more.
Yeah. That is what it is about. Carrying the heavy load rather than getting buried beneath it or dragged along by it. Continually just letting thoughts go, go, go, go, go. They are mostly useless filler.
Yup. Glad we see eye to eye on this.
I think so. You are doing good. Just try and stay present and let the future take care of itself.
Yes. To hell with the future.
It doesn’t even exist. The future is just a construct in people’s heads. The future is no place to be found. It is always right now.
Very true. I need to go do some exercise and then get ready for work.
Ok. Have a pleasant day.