How to Embrace the Being Mode of Mind for Mindfulness
It is sometimes difficult to practice mindfulness and embrace a being mode of mind in a society that values a doing mode of mind. Society values people achieving goals. You see people in the papers who have record amounts of money, or who’ve climbed the highest mountain. How many times has someone made the headlines for living in the moment?!
People are very familiar and almost comforted by the doing mode of mind. To stop doing so much, whether physically or mentally, isn’t easy. Doing feels attractive and exciting. However, people are beginning to realize that too much doing is a problem. In fact a whole philosophy has arisen and lots of books have been written all about how you can slow down.
On the surface, the realm of being appears lifeless and boring. In actual fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Being mode is a nourishing and uplifting state of mind that’s always available to you, in the midst of busy activity.
You can be trading in the stock market and conscious of your physical, emotional and psychological state of mind – you’re in being mode. Being mode isn’t easy to cultivate, yet the rewards of accessing this inner resource far outweigh any difficulties in reaching it.
Here are some of the qualities of the being mode of mind:
You connect with the present moment. When you’re in being mode, you’re mindful of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. You’re not thinking about the past or future.
You acknowledge and allow things to be as they are. You’re less goal-oriented. You have less of a burning desire for situations to change. You accept how things are before moving to change anything. Being mode doesn’t mean resignation, it means active acceptance of the way things are at the moment.
You’re open to pleasant, unpleasant and neutral emotions. You’re willing to open up to painful and unpleasant sensations or emotions without trying to run away from them. You understand that avoiding an emotion just locks you into it more tightly.
The being mode of mind is what mindfulness endeavors to cultivate. Being mode is about allowing things to be as they are already. When you stop trying to change things, paradoxically they change by themselves. As Carl Jung said: ‘We cannot change anything until we accept it.’
Accepting a situation or emotion just to make it go away doesn’t really work, and misses an important point. For example, say you’re feeling a bit sad. If you acknowledge it with a secret desire that it will go away, you haven’t fully accepted it yet. Instead, accept an emotion wholeheartedly if you can – emotions are here to teach you something. See what they have to say.