AND Trust Your Experience

August 28th, 2016

Can you imagine finding the documented archives of humans in several hundred years? We will have left pictures, videos, and all manner of technological footprint, as evidence of the lives we have lived. Really? Are these photos, videos, emails and the like that document our lives really the lives we are living?

One of the teachings I remember from a strong liberal arts education is the importance of reading the original source and drawing my own meaning from it, rather than running to interpretations and critical writing about the text. There is a big difference in directly experiencing anything and reading about it.

In fact, we have programs today that offer virtual reality experiences. We create experiences in order to experience something that we either cannot or do not experience directly ourselves by being in that particular context. Might virtual reality experiences be highlighting for us the importance of recognizing that we create our own reality, our own experience of situations?

AND documenting our food, where we are with friends, and the like is not the same as directly experiencing where we are. Why are we so preoccupied with creating the storyline of the life we want others to see than living the life that makes us more alive, vibrant, and joy-filled?

Mindfulness means being aware of each moment as it occurs and being aware of how we experience that moment. Are we aware of the temperature of the air as we walk, the smells, the colors, the sounds, the presence or absence of nature and how we feel in those environments?

Directly experiencing the context in which we find ourselves at any given moment means we are aware of our sensory reactions to a particular set of circumstances. When we aware of our senses, we are also able to recognize the role of our minds in trying to assign meaning, act as an interpreter, tell us how to feel about the experience. That critic voice that is always narrating is not the same thing as experiencing firsthand.

AND life is happening every moment of every day. Are you reading about it, hearing about it from others or your own mind, or trying to document it to hold onto what you want to re-experience in the future? The mind plays tricks. Our experience is real. If we trust that each moment brings something new, some new gift, then we might just spend less time trying to capture moments. AND we might just learn to experience and behold each precious moment for whatever it brings.

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