Seeing the River- Mindfullness of Mind and OCPD
I am taking a meditation class at the Interdependence Project and our last lecture was on the Four Kinds of Mindfulness. It went into some pretty deep Buddhist stuff, but a lot of it could be helpful to anyone with anxiety.
One of the kinds of mindfulness was of the mind. It is observing and watching your mental state, being aware of the "tone" of your thoughts. Silent Mind Open Heart has an article that explains it in more detail. Its not so much emotion, but what effect emotion has on your mind. Tricky to explain, but if you try it for yourself it helps!
Ok an example- I feel sad about a friend canceling plans. If I pause and feel the "mind" inside, I can see my thoughts are running a million places all at once. Plans to do something else, to eat, to sleep, rehashing the conversation, wondering if I did something wrong- all these bombard the mind like a waterfall. I know the "tone"- it's anxiety.
Through "Mindfulness of Mind" I try to look at all these anxious thoughts like an observer, even a scientist. I give it a name, a label- "anxious". Once I label it, maybe I can work with it, recognize it, and not get so caught up.
The river of thoughts can be rushing, rapids, languid or just plain muddy. But if I stop, pause, and try to observe that river, I can figure out how to cross it. If I just jump in, without being aware of just what that "thought river" is doing, I risk getting swept away by strong currents.
Being aware of our mind gives the tools to cross even the most deadly rapids, because we do the work to find and navigate each stone. But it is work! You have to be willing to pause, which is hard in daily life.
This weekend, I'm going to work with the "Mindfulness of Mind", and try not get swept away by any currents that push and pull the river inside my head.