Sathi talks about how habits can control our life and suggests ways to catch those habits in action. He also talks about how the past can become our own personal movie. Mindfully you can notice this and not be caught up, reliving the past, but live in the present moment, one breath at a time.
Recorded online on April 1, 2020.
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[Sathi] It's so good to be with you all this morning. I hope [you all did] your daily practice from yesterday. Does anybody want to say something about this daily practice?
[Meditator] I wanted to tell you yesterday was awesome because I was really more patient with my family members and really conscious of my emotions as I was going through my day, as an observer, it was really good.
[Sathi] Were you able to be a friend by the end of the day?
[Sathi] Well, for today I thought for our practice we can focus on recognizing the power [of habits]. Let me phrase it this way: think about [how] we are following habits physically and emotionally, we are very comfortable going after habits, but use mindfulness to recognize what's underneath of this habit. What is it? Why I am following this? So whenever you notice it, maybe sometimes you are saying something out of habit or routine, sometimes we are doing things [for example] we are doing certain things after eating lunch, or we are doing a certain thing when talking to somebody, or you may catch yourself [like] making a phone call to somebody but you don't [really] know why. You are just doing a lot of things without knowing [just out of habit]. Use your mindfulness to catch the habits and routines that you have introduced and just ask yourself what's underneath.
[Sathi] Any thoughts?
[Meditator] It's not necessarily from yesterday, but I have noticed and we have talked about in the past that the mind has this craving for emotions, and when things are good, at least my mind, makes up stories. I'm trying to work on recognizing when that happens so I catch myself without getting caught up in the fictional emotions my mind is making up. But I also noticed, for example, when we...usually external elements are the ones that trigger the emotions most of the time, right? So I noticed I was watching a movie and I totally [lost myself], mindfulness went out the window, totally honest. But I did notice it was a very emotional movie and it related to me and my life. What I did notice right after the movie happened I was talking to my husband and I realized how susceptible and emotional I was, and how a functional thing external to me entirely made me so reactive! We were talking about the current situation and I went into a really dark mind place, I was like "oh my god, what's going on?". The analogy I think in my mind is like [if] I purposely got a knife (not that I actually did it) but [a subjective knife] for my emotions and cut my skin open, the skin that keeps my emotions in check and the wound was open, and anything that would happen regardless whether was real or not, impactful or not, would be hurtful. So, I don't know, that was kind of the analogy in my mind, if you are, not controlling but aware of where situations are taking you emotionally and keeping an observant mind on whatever emotions are coming to your mind then it's kind of like you are susceptible to anything. I was very susceptible to a topic I have talked about many times in a very calm manner, and I was very "oh my god the world is going to end" kind of thing because I was so emotional as a result of being so lost watching that movie. Maybe, I'm just rambling, maybe sounds too complicated.
[Sathi] Thank you for sharing your life experience. That's what everybody goes through most of the time. But somehow when we're watching a movie on TV, we don't recognize even [that] we are watching a movie around our life too all the time. Anything you get caught up in the past, anything we are thinking of about the past, it's just like watching a movie in the TV, it's not there, it's gone, but is living in us. While we are watching a movie, we are living inside the movie. When something is happening to your heroes or favorite characters, if you happen to record yourself from the camera, you can see your facial reactions and how you are moving your body and how much you don't want that to happen. Then when something is happening to the villain in the movie. you can see how you want that to happen faster. What's happening: we are playing inside the movie. In real life, we are playing inside the past, we want to go back and edit our stories. We want to change certain stories, we want to add certain things into those stories. So, that's how we are watching a movie in our lives. When we can use mindfulness in such experience, just learn how we can get caught up into things easily, which is not real. Even though we are seeing something right now in our lives, and some things in the future, it's not real. Most of the time we experience fear out of nothing. Fear is related to [the] future. [The] present we are facing today. Past, we don't have fear at all in the past because that already has happened. So, every time something happens related to fear, we experience fear related to anything in the future, like a movie. Just open ourselves to see it: where is it, where is it now. Think that most of the time we worry about something but when the real-time comes you can see "oh, there's nothing to worry about". But if somebody tells us, if somebody asks you not to worry about it, you would think: "oh, you don't know, we have to worry about it, you have no idea". Think about how many businesses are there because of our fear? How many businesses are profiting because of fear? Well, let's come back to us: just see it, see that day by day, see that moment by moment, the real movement of our life is now. Just as this breath, only we have to be responsible for the breath you are breathing now. That's the only breath. It doesn't matter how many breaths you have taken in the past which is not here anymore, it doesn't matter how much you worry about the future breath, you cannot breathe that breath now, it has to be in the future. So, these movie experiences are really helping us to see where we are and how we are living our lives. Let try to watch the movie we are playing in our life. Thank you for sharing.
[Sathi] We can end now. It's very good to see all of you today, and may you continue your mindfulness meditation practice. May you have a good time with your daily practice. Just observe your habits. Wonderful to see all of you.