In the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy classes, we have been focusing on the way feelings manifest in the body. We have been learning to use the body’s wisdom to increase our awareness of pleasant feelings (leading to more joy!) and to also to allow difficult feelings to be held and experienced in a wider space. This allows painful feelings to follow a kind of natural arc of arriving, abiding and leaving, and by paying attention, we notice this flow happens more easily, FASTER, and it deepens our awareness of their passing and the spaciousness they leave behind.
This morning, I was listening to a lecture that I attended with Jack Kornfield a few years ago, and he mentioned this great quote by Annie Lamott:
It made me laugh, and I also know the wisdom in it. Years of practice with my friends in RockBlossom Sangha in Brooklyn provided me with the opportunity to be present with my oh-so-challenging mind over and over again, held by the anchor of my friends and their breathing and their solidity. But of course we can’t always be with others. And this morning I suddenly thought about it in a new way. I thought, yes, I don’t need to go into that bad neighborhood alone, as long I have my body with me. It was such a startling thought!
Bodily awareness grounds us in the here and now, and even if this moment is REALLY DIFFICULT, it becomes worse when the mind starts to take off! So in good or bad moments, bodily awareness brings us back to the relatively minor misery of the actual present moment, or often, to the startling joy that is possible!
If you would like to learn more about MBCT classes, please feel free to contact me or register on the web. The next class is scheduled to being July 6th.