VIDEO: Meditation as a Way of Being in the World
In her PsychAlive interview, mindfulness expert Dr. Donna Rockwell talks about meditation as a way of “being in the world in an existential sense.”
We don’t even know our own minds, you know, it’s interesting. We live externally and it’s all about getting the right job and the right husband and the right house. And those are not the things that actually satisfy us inwardly. They’re lovely as window dressing. But you can have all that and still be miserable.
So, this is an internal coming to an understanding of who we are actually as human beings. For example, our minds are always racing around and in that five minutes I couldn’t sit, what I didn’t know at the time was that that’s how my mind is all the time. It’s not like your mind changes. They say your mind is a busy monkey, they say in Tibet in Buddhism and that the mind’s jumping around all the time and it’s not my mind or your mind. It’s mind itself.
So once you understand it’s the mind itself that’s jumping around like that, like a monkey or a wild horse, you understand that it’s not anything that you’re doing wrong. So what you then do in the whole approach of meditation is you’re actually sitting there to come to know your own mind. It’s like, when you’re sitting in meditation, it’s like you’re watching a movie of all your thoughts. And over time what happens is that you just come to know that movie so well. And it can no longer take you off your spot. It’s like, “There’s that thought again” rather than thinking there’s something real in that and I’d better do something about it.
They say thoughts are like passing clouds and if we can come to observe them that way, they don’t have control over us. So, this is why I think it’s just an extraordinary approach to living. I don’t really see it as a religion, this Buddhist meditation idea. It’s really just an approach to life. It’s a way of being in the world, in an existential sense.Tags: Dr. Donna Rockwell, meditation, mindfulness, psychological tips