Mindfulness practice reminds us to be fully present now, and in doing that we live a more integrated life. However, it is not easy to stay completely in the present moment, open to what is actually happening. The mind has a number of simple ways that distract us from being fully at ease just with what is going on, and which shake us from being firm in this experience. If we can spot these thoughts in the small moments of each day and notice their effect, we can come to gradually notice them in the bigger picture of our life.
The first one is what I call the “improving mind”. We find ourselves in a situation, maybe quite pleasant, and we suddenly find ourselves wanting just a little bit extra. Very quickly after the arrival of a pleasant sensation – This is just lovely here– comes a thought that moves us from just being with how things actually are –It’s a pity we cannot stay a bit longer. There is nothing wrong with a thought like this; it’s just a thought; but what we notice is that it slightly moves us away from fully enjoying this moment. They move us from simple happiness of now, to “how happiness could be better”. And if we hook into these thoughts we get blown away and moved on from fully attending to here and now.
A simple practice: See if you can spot this “improving mind”. What is it like to stay solid in the moment in all its flavours and colours, just as it is?