Non-Striving is one of the Pillars of Mindfulness.
“This craving for position for prestige, for power, to be recognised by society, as being outstanding in some way, is a wish to dominate others, and this wish to dominate is a form of aggression. And what is the reason for this aggressiveness? It is fear isn’t it?
Contemplating what drives our need to be noticed, to be recognised, to be ‘seen’ as being outstanding as Krishnamurti suggests in his quote above can lead us to great insight into the roots of our ‘striving’ behaviour. There are many forms of addiction, understanding more about the Pillars of Mindfulness can also lead us to question what is it that causes their flip side. In particular, let’s look at the Pillar of Mindfulness “Non-Striving” by first looking at what is it that causes us to “strive” even to the point of dis-ease!
In this day and age where we are hooked in to constantly rating or measuring our progress can be the very thing that can keep us driven on automatic pilot and lead to chronic disease.
It is not to say that goals are not useful and measuring progress does not have some value, it is when striving to be better, do better due to ‘conditioning’ that we can be joining the addicted rat race versus living in alignment of our personal truth and what matters to us most. Mindfulness and cultivating these attitudinal qualities in the way we approach life can help support the specific type of attention and awareness that can let us ‘off the hook’ and free us from mind made disease.
For those of you who teach yoga or mindfulness, or have a practice: It is all very good to preach to people or say to yourself just “Let Go” and “Don’t be attached to the outcome” that’s how you practice mindfulness!
Anyone who is human knows it is not that easy
So first it helps to look into what may be keeping us ‘hanging on’ and striving in the first place. Quite often we are living against our ‘truth’ in fear of judgement and we become ‘hooked’ into doing what is expected or that has us ‘appearing’ good to others despite what we really want or even know to be true in our heart.
Great guidance on how we practice can be found in poetry from those who have just “sat” before us, from those who have done the work of ‘practice’
Poetry can help us shift from the intellectual side of the brain where we ‘measure’ our progress to awaken those parts in us that help free up our narrow focused attention for a moment and instead, create space for grace.
Especially those of you who wish to share or to teach mindfulness or yoga to others, yes there is great value in sharing the theories and brain science as to why mindfulness and yoga works and is so healing for us. All to often though as Yoga Teachers or Mindfulness Teachers we can fall into the same traps of wanting to prove ourselves or the practice to others. This form of striving can keep us hooked into habits of ‘measuring’ our progress as teachers or practitioners – this in itself can create the same conditions in the brain as what’s can be termed the ‘red zone’ / stress response. The very conditions that mindfulness practice is designed to free us from.
There is value in sharing the ‘evidence-based science’ of how and why meditation helps and although we do share this research in our courses it is emphasised that practice trumps all theory. I remember taking a yoga class once with Bryan Kest and he said something along the lines of “The only way you know you are making progress in yoga, is when you stop measuring your progress”.
Mindfulness Meditation is no different. It is implied that there is no goal, no doer, just bare attention on what’s happening right now without any judgement.
Quite a lot of fear can come up at the thought of this notion of “do nothing” so perhaps consider it this way and start here :
CREATE A CLEARING
Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worth of rescue.
By Martha Postlethwaite
This is a great poem to be read out before meditating, a gentle reminder that we can all let ourselves off the “hook” of being addicted to striving, which is just our temporary so-called solution to mistaken identity that we have to ‘be more’ than what we already are.
By ‘creating a clearing’ and making space for grace, we start by
Softening the face
Know that you’re breathing in
Know that you’re breathing out
The hint of a Mona Lisa smile
We trust it is okay to
‘do nothing’ for awhile
Stay tuned for more on The Pillars of Mindfulness and ways to bring Mindfulness into your daily life. For more information or to receive free downloads of Mindfulness Meditation contact firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about our Mindfulness Coaching Programs click here
Stress Management, Addiction, School Teachers, Health + Fitness Professionals, Allied Health Professionals
Mindful Warrior Yoga Class Series available for DOWNLOAD TO YOUR DEVICE with bonus sequence charts With Tammy Williams (Founder of Yoga NRG + Mindfulness Training Australia) click here to purchase
Our next Four Day Intensive Mindfulness Level 1 Coaching Program with Tammy Williams is coming up in September in Perth – click here for details
Bryan Kest is returning to visit Australia in August :
Brisbane – Tuesday 21st August 2018
The Art of Power Yoga as Meditation
plus the class that everyone talks about LONG SLOW DEEP
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