February 2nd, 2010
I spent the weekend at a workshop exploring insights from mindfulness practices and psychotherapy. Mindfulness practices include meditation, yoga, contemplative prayer, and a host of other activities. One of the things that stuck with me was how both mindfulness practices and psychotherapy can help a person cultivate a mind like a sky. But what exactly does that mean?
Here’s how I understood it…therapy, counseling, and mindfulness (also known as self-awareness) can help us with difficult emotions and destructive thoughts. What we can learn from these practices is to identify our difficult feelings and thoughts, while not attaching to them. In other words, with time, your mind becomes like the sky. It’s a beautiful day. No worries. Then, a cloud passes by. Perhaps several clouds. They might linger for some days, or blow over quickly. But, the beautiful sky exists underneath the clouds. They stay, make their noise and pour their rain, then dissipate.
When you can envision your mind like the sky, you can return to the belief that there is serenity and peace somewhere, even when it’s not immediately obvious. One thing to remember, though, is that mindfulness and psychotherapy are gentle, forgiving practices. When you aren’t able to believe in the shining sky, you can learn to be easy on yourself. No one’s perfect. Don’t beat yourself up for not being “enlightened.” And so, like the sky, you have good days and bad days. That’s just the way it is.
To explore psychotherapy’s benefit, call Mike Giordano in Washington, DC, at 202/460-6394 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.