“We meditate, developing mindfulness, developing concentration, and after a while we begin to wonder -“When is the discernment going to come”? “When are the insights going to come”?
Training your mind to calm down begins a process of being able to recognise your ‘blind spots’ of negative behaviour. Once you’ve begun to calm your mind with your everyday mindfulness practice, you’ll start to be able to identify harmful stress and anxiety-creating patterns of behaviour. Before calming the mind, you’re traveling through life with dulled senses. Lots of things are happening “behind the scenes” (in the mind), but you can’t detect them because you’re not tuned correctly to your mind.
Here are four principles to training your mind to see ‘your blind spots’, cultivate discernment and reduce your stress:
Be aware to judge your actions and not yourself. When you learn to separate your sense of self from your action, you will be more willing to admit your mistakes to yourself and be less defensive when other people point them out to you.
Exercise mindfulness in the original meaning of the term – keep something in mind. Mindfulness develops the strength to remember the lessons you have learned, what works and what doesn’t. It is natural for us to want to forget our mistakes and mindfulness brings your awareness repeatedly to remembering your lessons, learning from your mistakes and being able to develop a healthier attitude towards self-growth.
As you begin to apply the lessons you have learned you discover the third principle of discernment – when you recognise your mistakes and act on them, you really do make a difference for yourself and the world you live in. The present moment is not so arbitrarily new that lessons from yesterday are useless today.
And the last principle is that you learn how to benefit from the discernments of others.
Without mindfulness we cannot develop our powers of discernment and self-progression in a healthy way.