We’ve talked in the past about using mindfulness. Having it in our toolkit is a bit like stopping distance in a car, if we need it but don’t have it then it’s too late. What it gives us is a chance not to get swept up by the conditions around us or the conditions that arise in the mind. When we practice mindfully we don’t get lost in these activities so easily.
But mindfulness must be supported. If we are mindful enough to take a step back when painful or anxious thoughts come up then we need to ally that with stepping back from our judgements as well. Our reactions are just what they are – they aren’t good or bad. Only the actions that flow from these can create good or bad outcomes but we don’t have to act, do we? We can use mindfulness to give us the space not to act, not to speak, not to do something which might cause regret. We can reflect on our choices and see which one looks the best. Maybe that’s finding a kind word or a smile. Maybe it’s the tolerance to bear with someone else’s behaviour or maybe it’s just to do nothing and remain still.
We all love certainty and clarity. Knowing what will happen and when it’ll happen gives us something to ground ourselves with and anchor to. But life doesn’t often afford us that, does it? In these changing times no one knows what’s going to happen. No one knows what the next stage will be or how that will affect any of us. The future is completely unknown So all we can do is be with the present. How is it right now? Well, deal with that. Is there something useful we can do? Then do it. If not, then we do nothing. It’s fine to do nothing. Every moment doesn’t have to contain useful or productive activity, that’s just our conditioning. So as well as allowing space and time to be productive if we can, we need to allow space and time to just be – that’s it, just be without any expectations or outcomes. Just this, bearing with this moment and watching all of the arising and passing away without moving or needing to do anything about it. This is the way to peace.