That change is constant is one of the main things we realize early in an MBSR Course or in our practice. As Mick, one of the participants in the present Course said, after a week of doing the Body Scan, everything was “random”, in the sense that how it went one day was completely different from how it had gone the previous. We have an internal expectation that things should all be moving, yes, but in the sense of getting better, calmer, more on top of life. However, just to sit for 30 minutes lets us see that nothing stays still for long and we come to realize that maybe this is a better “ground” on which to base our understanding. There is constant movement in our internal life, as we can see from the coming and going of our thoughts. Looking deeper we can see the roots of this movement in the changing emotional reaction to simply letting our life be, as it actually is, rather than to how we think it should be.
Mindfulness practice tells us that the best way to work with the anxiety around change is to look inside and be curious about what are our reactions to the inevitable ups and downs of each day. This strengthens our capacity to hold change in awareness, and can help us to avoid holding onto situations which have to evolve. Being open to the reality of change and not holding on is a wise practice, for just as we are beginning to see around us these days in nature, parts of our lives have to fall away, lie fallow and die so that what needs to emerge can do so. Trusting this process means that we can come to see that what we thought once was vital and solid for our life may not necessarily be so. Much of our sense of self is based on the past – what we recently were and what we perceived to be important. Mindfulness practices helps us stay in the present, not defining our life by the past nor living in our fears about the future.