Middle of the mind

I hear you but I can’t feel you. I see you but you’re not looking at me. Something else is more urgent or more interesting, you are not here. Or, maybe it’s me who is somewhere else. Why are we here? Is there even such a thing as the right time? Could this be it?

Somewhere in the middle of the mind the diatribe runs on… its the drivel of an ego seeking meaning. It’s where our senses meet our consciousness and try to make sense of it all, it’s right in the middle of the mind. It’s right in between me and you.

We’re wired for connection, we can’t help but think the thoughts, feel the feelings and without practice, express them for all the world to see.

This “can’t help it” part of being human is where we often get stuck. And, oh, how stuck we can get!

Then, we start to believe that what is repeating is true… that what he said or she did or what I ate or drank or didn’t do is somehow fixed or true or final and is all about me or all about you.

All of the words feel like shots through stillness. Sometimes, they land softly and stick, other times miss their mark. Sometimes they blast right through a vulnerability and cleave things apart.

Is it more space or less that we need to be well. Do you want me to be closer or farther away? Where, if anywhere, might we perfectly position ourselves?

In stillness, with practice, with tolerance, kindness and forgiveness we might begin to understand impact.

We have an impact on the world.

We are impacting the world.

We are the world.

One of my favorite illustrations of this can be found in the experience of traffice. All of us have probably felt it at one time or another: frustration, impatience, distain even… a simple shift in awareness allows us to see that we not IN traffic, it is not what surrounds us, we ARE the traffic, we are no more separate from it than a drop of water is in the midst of the ocean.

The distinctions between us are quite easily dissolved when we step out of the tangle that is the middle of the mind and come to see more clearly our true place in the world of our experience.

And, here we realize that there’s something deeper… don’t you feel it sometimes too? It’s pretty simple. It’s content. It’s friendly, playful and serene. It is sometimes, only accessible in stillness, in quiet moments when we’re just watching the world go by… it’s wonderful. It’s awesome. It’s inquisitive, grateful and generous. Time isn’t an issue, there’s plenty of space.

This is sattva. It is one of the inherent qualities of our world. It’s always here, it’s inside of us and it’s surrounding us. It is peaceful.

It is complemented by the qualities of inertia (that stickiness I was just speaking of), and, motivation. In the yoga sutras these three together are called the gunas. They weave together like a braid.

As a therapist and teacher I try to help folks find the space for sattva. We try to find balance between acceptance of things how they are, and, motivation for change. There is inertia, we get stuck and want what is familiar. There is motivation. We want things to change. We want to be different. In the poise between the two, there is peace.

It is with this practice that we find it.