Learning to differentiate your thoughts. Purpose: to notice the source of your actions. Reason: Not everyone has the same past as you so cannot fit into your perspective! If you want to connect (rather than have conflict) it is important to notice the difference between your automatic response based on old stories and what is happening in the “now” ~ present moment.
Will you be surprised to read the learning styles follow our senses and abilities for reasoning and making sound? Did you know that we will have one primary characteristic combined with varying percentages of the others? Each of us different.
How then do we communicate to connect if we our base learning style is feeling/touch and our partner is logic? We would like to talk about our feelings and our partner would like to analyse them! Connection?, possibly not!
I wonder then about taste! Is it time to begin considering this as a learning style? It is an unconscious form of teaching in our culture today yet not recognized.
Add to this our own balance of social and solitary preferences into our relationships with our partners, children and at work. If you are doing a group project and not feeling comfortable in your group do you experience growing feelings that you don’t belong? Could understanding that you prefer to work alone change your behavior and those around you? What if you like to socialize and your partner doesn’t? At the beginning of the relationship you may meet their needs for being alone thinking it is romantic and not simply a preference to meet their needs, not yours. Without recognizing this, it could be the pattern in your future together! How long before you would become resentful? I imagine it starts even before the heat of the romance come down a few temperatures!
Chogum Trungpa Rinpoche, originally from Tibet, taught North Americans a structure to experience mindfulness in meditation. A structure to occupy the mind and body with focus of attention in a particular way to encourage the mind to slow down to have freedom from thought driven action.
The structure in meditation is particular. You enter into a room with reverence, sit on a cushion that has a mat between it and floor. You have a choice of sitting in two or three positions. When you sit you notice your thoughts and practice labeling them, “thinking.” You follow your breath outwards counting for cycles of 10 breathes. As you sit you notice when your thoughts wander off and then as soon as you notice this you simply bring yourself back to the pattern of breathing and observing your breath. Your eyes are aimed 6 feet in front of you down towards the floor and an you begin to sense the environment. Sitting begins at a cycle of 20 minutes, walking mediation for 10 and back to sitting for 20 minutes. For a retreat the 20 minutes stretches into longer periods of time. The purpose is to begin to have an experience of empty space between the thoughts. An experience quite unlike a mind driven experience.
Sharing Awareness through Communication workshops based on world recognized models for communicating and development, a dawning realization is for the need of a similar structure. Chogyam was sharing that the mind needs attention and a structured system of focusing it to participate, not dominate. Our series of classes has evolved into realizing this same need for structure with a purpose of giving the mind space between thoughts and allowing it room for participating, not dominating. This then deepens the quality. Therefore it isn’t the quantity of thoughts and filling up the silence that matters, it’s the quality that becomes recognizable. Therefore a growing mindfulness can come from learning while developing a lite quality of curiosity in studying one’s own behavior.
A recent comment, “When I hold onto the thoughts in my mind that want to jump out and only share back what I am hearing from my friend, my friend shares more. I am getting to know more about this person and I thought I already knew everything about them. They are also speaking from a deeper place.”
Learning opportunities to discover for yourself how to improve your relationships with clarity and developing mindfulness, western style, are available. For more explore the classes listed, inquire about presentations, workshops and coaching. There are organized group classes, classes designed with your needs in mind, online classes and private sessions for coaching and improving your relationships.