The Practicing Mind
When you put all your focus on the goal, you’re spending a lot of unnecessary energy on it. You’re judging yourself and none of that energy is going into learning what you need in order to reach the goal of yours. Focus on the process, what you’re doing in the moment, and that will bring you further to your goal.
However, the practicing mind is quiet. It lives in the present and has laser-like, pinpoint focus and accuracy. It obeys our precise directions, and all our energy moves through it. Because of this, we are calm and completely free of anxiety. We are where we should be at that moment, doing what we should be doing and completely aware of what we are experiencing. There is no wasted motion, physically or mentally.
We become fixated on our intended goal and completely miss out on the joy present in the process of achieving it.
If you grow up in a household where there is constant bickering and inappropriate behavior, you can learn that behavior without your knowledge. If that happens, then in order for you to change similar bickering behavior within yourself, you must first become aware of the personality tendencies you possess, and practice a different behavior repeatedly and deliberately with the intention of changing.
We waste so much of our energy by not being aware of how we are directing it.
The goal creates a dilemma in any activity you choose, because it is usually the reason you undertake an endeavor in the first place, and it is always out there as a point of comparison against which to measure your progress.
Judgment brings a sense of right or wrong, good or bad with it. What we are doing here is objectively observing and analyzing the outcome of each attempt. This observation serves only to direct our next effort.
Our goal is to stay in this process and to direct our energy into whatever activity we are choosing at the present.
For most of our culture, focusing on the process is almost frowned upon; it’s seen as missing the point.
You can recall everything you worked hard and patiently for in your life, but how many things that you have attained with little or no effort can you remember?
At any point in the day when you notice you are feeling bored, impatient, rushed, or disappointed with your performance level, realize that you have left the present moment in your activity. Look at where your mind and energy are focused. You will find that you have strayed into either the future or the past.
I watch very little TV because I feel that most of it offers no return for the time you invest in it.
You cannot change what you are unaware of. This truth is nowhere more important than in the world of self-improvement.
We need to be more aware of what we are doing, what we are thinking, and what we are intending to accomplish in order to gain control of what we experience in life.
This disconnection from our thoughts and actions is a way of thinking that we have learned during our lives, and one that takes away all our real power. We must unlearn this approach to life.
To express a melody on any instrument as it comes from your heart is an experience you have to earn.
If, however, your goal is learning to play the piece of music, then the feeling of struggle dissolves away. In each moment you spend putting effort into learning the piece, you are achieving your goal.
You can see that these four components are all part of the same process. Each one needs and creates the other. When you work slowly, things become simpler. If you want to simplify something, break it down into small parts and work more slowly at each part. Since all four components take effort to develop and maintain, you will have greater success if you break down the time that you apply to working on them into short intervals.
Equanimity is a virtue worth every effort to develop.
I hope that you feel that everything of a spiritual nature that you acquire in life will be with you forever. Everything else will not. Houses, jobs, and cars come and go; you, however, are eternal.
Everything that you spiritually acquire expands your true self and becomes part of you forever