In mid-June of 2010 I went to Limerick Ireland to give a week of talks.
Good timing, because while I was there they completed and opened the tunnel which runs under the River Shannon. There is something so amazing about knowing that millions of liters of water are flowing just above. The confluence, may I say, of human ingenuity, the force of nature and structural engineering is a thing to behold.
After walking the 2,000 feet of tunnel, I bought a scone and sat on a bench overlooking the river. From above, all you can see is the flow of water. If you told ancient Celts that people were walking beneath the river, they would have ridiculed you with a shillelagh.
All which brings me to ask, What are the invisible currents going on in your head? Is the flow of thoughts in your mind mosquitoey and constant? Are you able to stand under (understand) that you are not your thoughts nor your feelings? You have them... and that’s better than your thoughts having you! No, YOU have them and can notice them and let them go.
Just as I saw a herring gull riding the current on the River Shannon, watch your thoughts flow downstream and observe them.
You can also be moderately interested in them- curious might be a better word- but don’t let them pull you in. Don’t drown in yesterday’s could-have-beens or tomorrow’s might-bes or even today’s why-is-this-happenings. The water, whether flowing slowly or swiftly, is not your speed. You are not moving…you are on the shore….still. No need to let what is floating by move you. This is not so much stoic as sensible.
Jon Kabat-Zinn says "When we are able to find stillness within an activity, we touch moments of freshness, insight, and an awareness that allow us to see what’s right in front of us in completely new ways—when the mind gets out of its own way."
Hey, join us on Zoom for free half-hour Mindfulness teaching on Mondays. At 6PM (EST) we will have 30 minutes of observing and letting go. You deserve this!