The Mindfulness Blog

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Spring Cleaning

What is it? The light? The temperature? The end of winter doldrums? Here, in the Northern Hemisphere, it's Spring!

Cleaning out closets? Clearing out the garage, or the basement? How about clearing out our minds? I'm not talking about throwing out everything we know or been taught-- I'm talking about opening up ourselves to new ideas and maybe even new habits.

Motivation comes at different times and for different reasons, but when it does come, we need to make the most of it.  And the good news is, opening our mind is actually pretty easy-- imagine that. Gain, with little or no pain-- surely, there must be a catch.

If you're English or American, you've likely been taught that without pain, there can be no gain (apparently, if you're forebears are from almost anywhere else, it's possible). Ironically, my ancestors are almost entirely English, but I believe there can be gain, without pain-- it must be the Irish/Scottish fraction of my blood, talking up.

But, back to the point: Training the body may in fact require some degree of pain, in order to realize gain, but training the mind is virtually pain-free-- it requires only silence, stillness and observation (though, depending on your posture of choice, sitting in stillness for several hours can be painful for the lower back).

Meditation is an embodied practice-- like everything we humans do-- and the body does have its limitations. I'm a firm believer in the advice that teaches: If something begins to hurt, then change your posture-- training the mind is more flexible than many of us believe to be the case.

Spring cleaning is often associated with physical tasks, but for some of us, it also involves our mind!


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