Thursday, June 22, 2017

Grown-up work

Asian educators might have a different idea but it seems to me that mindfulness meditation training for the mind fits better into the life of an older adult, say over 60 or 70, than into the life of a child. American children may have enough to do to grow up and flourish without something else to learn and master.  Goldie Hawn, the actress, and Susan Kaiser Greenland and many others are working to arrange for children to learn to be aware of their own minds more and that effort may show itself to be worthwhile for more and more kids in this country.

I guess I have trained myself to more or less accept oppositions and disappointments.  I could work to learn to change such things into positives, finding the silver lining in them or giving myself points for suffering obstacles or both. I believe that my nature, both individual and species-related, is to celebrate the things that are happy and good and to shy away from things that are negative.  But, when I am not too tired, I am learning to see negatives as exactly what I should expect a good portion of the time.

I do stay aware that my perception is limited in scope and what I see as a negative may fool me.  Admittedly, things that look positive sometimes fool me, too.  And it is not always a matter of mis-recognizing.  There are times when something really is a burden or a pain, but in a day or a month or a year, is clearly valuable and something I am grateful for.

Rather than working at changing something negative into something happy or good, I think a better course is to be patient with the negative.  Watch it carefully and also my reaction to it carefully and fully.  I am trying to be respectful of the power of negatives and appreciative of my ability to absorb negatives and take them in stride, seeing them as bothers or burdens I have been expecting and as opportunities to open to them and take them in.

These are the sorts of ruminations that occupy me these days.  I doubt I had the capacity or interest in engaging in them as a child.


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