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HeartMind Newsletter from Stephen Malloch - Remembering & Forgetting
12 February 2015
HeartMind services:
Today I want to write about remembering and forgetting. The Sanskrit word that is usually translated as Mindfulness is smrti. Interestingly smrti can also be translated as ‘remembering’.

What is it that we are remembering? Smrti means remembering to be present here and now, and not to be lost in plans for the future or thoughts about the past. Smrti is saying there’s nothing wrong with making plans for the future or remembering the past, but it is warning against believing that our plans and memories are more real that what is happening right now.

It is so easy to get caught up in the dramas of what might be. I certainly did it over the past couple of weeks with the drama of buying a house. Will I succeed in outbidding the other person? Are we making the right decision? Is this what we really want? And, and, and…. My heart beat faster and I became distracted as I was pulled in to the stickiness and tightness of it all.

My own sense of solidity and freedom got less as this went on. I forgot myself.

And then I would remember myself. Perhaps it was hearing a bird call that reminded me to come up for air and return to now. And what I noticed as I remembered myself, is that this ‘remembering’ has a spaciousness to it. It has a quietness to it. It has a clarity to it. But if I don’t remember to return to myself, it won’t happen. I remembered that my worries about the future were imaginings. I remembered that my thoughts and feelings of regret (why hadn’t I offered more money earlier to clinch the deal??) were just that – thoughts and feelings. I remembered to learn from the past, but also to let go of getting lost in the drama of it all. I remembered that these thoughts and feelings are not as real as the sensations of sitting and typing that I experience as I write this newsletter. And my appreciation of nowness brings with it a bigger space. It moves my awareness from the ‘small me’ of drama to a ‘larger me’ of greater clarity and compassion. This ‘me’ has a sense of belonging in the present with the people who are in this moment with me.

It is this quality of appreciation which means I work much more with what is happening rather than against what is happening. I work with a sense of appreciation that ‘this is the way things are now’. And so through engaging with the way things are, I move forward with what is happening now, rather than getting lost with how I would like things to be. I can use my preferences as a guide, as a map. But if I mistake the map for the actual road I am walking on, I have forgotten.  I might arrive somewhere that looks really great on the map, but when I look around I find it’s not at all what I thought it would be.

So, I pay attention, and I remember. And this is the way to make decisions, based clearly in the now.
HeartMind www.heartmind.com.au

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