mindfulness

The Dalai Lama is Sexist, and So Am I

An important defense mechanism to understand from psychoanalysis is called "Idealization/Devaluation." It points to our tendency to prop up people (ideas and experiences, too) as ultimates, as superlative versions of themselves; an act that can only be followed by disillusionment and denouncing of our projected heroes when they turn out to be complex and flawed just like the rest of us. The places this is most commonly practiced is in intimate relationships and with iconic figures. And it’s called a defense mechanism because this is actually a subconscious means of avoiding intimacy - with both the person in question and the nature of life itself.

documentation vs. experience

Sacred nuggets of wisdom encourage finding awareness within the present moment. As yogis and yoga practitioners, awareness is often one of the most sought-after intentions. We collectively strive to live in the moment, without worrying about the responsibility of the future or dwelling on past instances. Of course, this is far easier to say than do, which is why yoga is an ongoing practice. We are constantly working to stay mindful. 

This is where I find my personal predicament. I like taking pictures and I like to write; it’s my form of creative expression. That being said, I also don’t want to sacrifice the purity of a perfect moment by focusing on the product. There must be a balance. 

A Self Beyond the Head

Close your eyes. Trace the direction of your attention when you think "self" to yourself. Note where your awareness resides when you think "me" or "I". Perhaps somewhere around the head? William James once considered, when he turned his focus inward, that he perceived his self to be something related to the "motions" between his head and neck. A contemporary version of the same idea might be the notion that all of our psychological life can be reducible to the life of neurons, the activity of the brain.

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