Play it Again Sam

Remember vinyl records? The way the turn table revolves?  The sound of the needle as you place it down on the record?

Picture yourself setting the needle in the first groove, it needle winds itself along the well-worn track, singing the whole song from start to finish. It’s all so familiar; same notes, same words, same familiar beat.

This is what happens in the mind when we fall into “prerecorded” mind
states. As our mind runs through the familiar song, we fall easily into the well-worn grooves of our thought patterns, our assumptions about the situation, and our projections about what is happening. When, or if, we return to mindfulness we realize we’ve spent another hour or another day listening to our “top 10 tunes.”

We can wish that we could lift up the needle and pick another song, or better yet, take the record off. If only….  Insisting that our mind stop singing its hits, if this works at all, results in a kind of mindfulness bypass.   This denial of what is in the mind delays the healing process that needs to occur in order for the thought pattern to exit the juke box of our consciousness and truly dissolve.

The offer that mindfulness does make, is to have the opportunity to see what is also
happening.  Instead of only noticing the prerecorded mind state and getting lost in its captivating rhythms, we can learn to be aware of the song as part of the present moment.  We begin to also notice the larger landscape and our awareness can move to what we hear, what we sense in our body, and what we see. This brings us into the moment, the here and now.  Our awareness now includes the truth of our inner landscape as well as our outer landscape.  In this internal honesty we can be with the whole experience with compassion. And this begins the journey of truly healing the place in the heart where the song comes from.

If you want to learn more about how to practice mindfulness in this way and you want support in practicing it, join me this fall on Whidbey Island in gorgeous Washington State.  The retreat will nourish your mind, body and heart!
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