March 2012 archive

Making Informed Choices

As we bring ourselves into the present over and over again through practice we begin to shift. Our mind becomes more used to present centered thinking. Everytime we feel our feet on the ground or consciously take a breath – our thoughts don’t change, but instead become more obvious.

For example, we might have the habit of eating a lot at parties and other social situations. Maybe we normally have 1 or 2 pieces of corn but at a barbeque we find ourselves eating 5 or 6. After practicing being present for a time, we find ourselves in these situations having the thought, “ I need more corn” and then we eat it.

After more time practicing we may have the same thought, notice it and think, “I don’t actually need that corn.” This last thought was likely there all along but we were not present enough to see it. We used to proceed and eat the corn. After more practice and experience with present centered thinking, (like “I’m breathing in, I’m breathing out” or “My feet are on the floor and I’m wiggling my toes”) we hear the mind’s voices more clearly and choose to not eat the corn because we’re not hungry.

This is the way in which we change – becoming more present – hearing all of our thoughts – and then finally making simple choices. Our thoughts never disappear, these eating patterns may have started when we were 2 years old. But our relationship changes to them. Eventually we are in the present just enough to make aware choices more of the time. Don’t expect to silence out “demons” but instead, to hear them completely along with all of your other thoughts.

In this way, we can make informed decisions more of the time. As we do this, we move towards one of the great gifts of yoga – using our minds full potential.

Om Shanti, Om Peace.