Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Mind Riot

This week protesters are clashing with riot police in Anaheim, California. The protests are over recent shootings by the Anaheim police. As this happens, Disneyland fireworks go off above.
How often is your mind a riot of stories, buzzing thoughts and emotions? Like the protesters, the police and the tourists in Anaheim, different parts of our mind have their own agendas and their own ways of pursuing them. There is only so much room in our awareness, so all these stories can end up cascading over each other, fighting for our attention. This too often ends up in a mental and emotional logjam, with nothing getting done and none of our internal agendas getting satisfied.
Mindfulness disperses the Mind Riot, but not through force, not by taking any sides, and not by figuring out any solutions. When the riot threatens to overwhelm you, let out a big sigh and take a mental step back away from emotional involvement in the stories. Don’t try to stop any and don’t encourage any, but instead, let your awareness settle with your cycle of breathing for three breaths. What happens to the Mind Riot?

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