Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirty.
Because it ain’t much of a trail if it ain’t made of dirt. I’m heading out to Colorado soon, to visit some relatives, see a few sights, and hopefully do some dirty trail hiking. So this will be my last post for a few weeks. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to hitch the horses to the wagon . . .
This is the final installation of a 27-part series, featuring my book, Chasing Unicorns. Hooray, it’s finally over! To read the previous installation, CLICK THIS LINK. To start at the beginning, CLICK THIS LINK. To read the entire book at once, tap the book cover. Thanks for reading!
RECAP: Yesterday you learned that the greatest benefit from mindfulness is insight. Insights are unique ideas, thoughts, revelations, inspirations, and cogitations, that often manifest straight out of the blue. Putting insights into practice leads to wisdom. This is the path of mystics, that leads to enlightenment. And it’s the path toward the greatest happiness possible.
On the Path of Unicorns, Part 7
Other Benefits of Mindfulness
I suppose I should also mention some of the other benefits of mindfulness, just for the record. But keep in mind, they don’t hold a candle to insight. Insight is the most fundamental and powerful spinoff from the workings of our minds. Everything else is just gravy, or frosting on the cake. Which, by the way, should never be eaten together. Gravy and frosting don’t mix well.
Mindfulness has been touted as a magic bullet for a number of ills. It’s like a Swiss Army knife, or a Jack-of-all trades. For example, psychiatrists have used it to treat depression, stress, and anxiety.
Research suggests that mindfulness boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation, and lowers the risk of developing dementia.
A mindful mind is less prone to feel desperate in dire situations. Mindfulness can help you sleep better, and prevent sleep deprivation. And if it really does boost your immune system, then it’s good for your health. It’s also touted to reduce blood pressure.
And I’m sure if you’re a golfer, mindfulness can help rid you of the yips, so you can sink that putt. If you’re a poker player, mindfulness can help you detect and stop your own tells, while noticing the tells of others. I’ll go all in, and assert it’s possible to get rich that way. But I’ve never tried it, so don’t quote me.
Mindfulness has also been used to effectively treat substance abuse. And in prisons, schools, and other institutions, mindfulness has been used in programs that help develop empathy. Thus, a mindful person is more likely to become a trustworthy person, since having empathy is a powerful way to win the trust of others.
The Fount of Life
Mindfulness observes and keeps tabs on the Source of all things. The mind. Everything comes from Mind. Mind is the All. It is the raw material of the universe. It contains more within it than you’ll ever find anywhere else, including the average house of a hoarder.
The mind is a tireless force. It never quits. It’s like every employer’s dream. It’s always at work, 24/7.
The mind is the very Source and fount of life. That’s because life is change, and the mind is constantly changing, thus creating new life. Just look at your own mind and you’ll be impressed, and possibly aggravated, with how it changes all the time. Your mind is always busy, constructing new thoughts, new concepts, and new perceptions.
This is why it’s impossible to stop your mind from thinking, while meditating. Your mind is life. It’s no more possible to stop your mind from thinking, than it is to stop life itself. Or at least, the eternal kind of life.
And in my opinion, that’s a good thing. I like life.
When we observe our own minds we are observing all the new constructs that it’s constantly inventing. Those new constructs tend to disappear when we apply a strong enough focus on them. But then they are immediately replaced by newer constructs. You can’t stop the mind from constructing. Not even the most powerful meditation can stop this.
Now I’ll admit that it’s possible to achieve a sense that the mind has gone blank, when you apply a strong dose of mindfulness to it. But then, how do you know your mind has actually gone blank? You can only know because your tricky, wriggly mind, has squirmed out of your control and constructed the concept of blankness, for you to perceive.
And then, as you congratulate yourself for all this blankness, your ever-inventive mind elevates your self-image to that of a champion meditator. Thus, more constructs. So you see, you can’t stop your mind from constructing new things.
The best you can do is to watch your mind as it constantly goes about its business. Watch those constructs rise, and then watch them get demolished, over and over, under the scrutiny of your mind’s eye. But that’s good enough, because the very act of watching your mind somehow stimulates it, so that it begins to produce more and more unique insights. Unicorns are born, for your enjoyment and practical use.
Watching your mind takes you to the Source of life. This Source is magical, and it loves being watched. And it will richly reward you for all of the attention you pay to it. You will receive many unique insights, and an opportunity to develop wisdom and enlightenment, simply by putting the insights into action.
And this will make you truly, genuinely, and increasingly happy.
To chase, you have to follow.
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