Mindfulness has grown, beyond a trend, and into an accepted form of societal focus. To be mindful feels comforting, feels acceptable, feels like we must really be doing a good job at being human. Mindlessness must to be the reason for all the problems in the world. If everyone was more mindful things would be different. Right? And if that were correct, then why have people not realized all the bountiful aspects of mindfulness around the world?
Minfulness does not take into account difference. Cultural differences, differences in personal values, and social policy. Social policy is a valuable area to look into as a cultural phenomena that forms the basis delineating boundaries of acceptable behavior.
What associations to you have with the term: mindfulness. Where did those associations come from? Did you make them up yourself? Entirely? If you follow the ways the thoughts were put there, will your brain be stretched apart like putty? Will you feel like the world is unraveling, will you feel stressed and uneasy? Saddled with doubt? What’s wrong with those kind of feelings? And why is it psychotherapy is the first place you might start to think about where this kind of thinking “belongs.” Calling something crazy or a conspiracy theory is often a fast way to right off, wrong ways of being mindful to accept the so called right ways of being mindful. But if your mind is your freedom to choices, your pathway to creating the life you want, with the responsibility of the creating of life with you at the driver seat, would it really be so dangerous to consider the associations to mindfulness were not put there by some kind of accident, but rather through a history of considered actions.
The basis of thinking itself can be considered formed out of social policy, or the invisible but real social boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable thinking.
In this day, we can look towards the boundary as a line, acceptable or unacceptable, and mindfulness as associated with positive or negative thinking. These kind of constructed ways of thinking then create mindfulness as a concept of way of thinking in two ways: acceptable and unacceptable thinking.
This makes mindfulness practices into ripe training grounds for rhetoric and social policy training. This effectively subverts the intention of mindfulness as a means to control thought.
Controlling thoughts, based on the premises established in social psychology, or the tendency the human will have towards conformity as a basis for survival. Survival within the social group, and survival as a living entity. The two are deeply intertwined in Psyche so that it feels like the soul, or who and what we are.
In this way, invite yourself to not be mindful, but instead to think for yourself. Think critically, meditation without a goal, simply be and exist with yourself, the thoughts that come, and start a path of inquiry into those thoughts. Observe the judgements, and consider a mindful life a life full of thoughts, and the entire spectrum of life free from thoughts.
Does a plant or color think itself that shape or color? Or is the plant or color the way that it is? And does your positive or negative view of the plant or color change how the color is, or does it rather change how you would regard having the plant or color in your proximity. And if you tried to banish the negative category of form or color from your mind, would it obliderate its existence? or would you be lying to yourself about its existence?
The way of thinking is that it happens. The qualty of thought can be a generative way of thinking, that builds bridges to ways of thinking where instead of slotting a thought into the positive or negative boxes pre-built by the social policies of mindfulness, a new expanse of freedom can be experienced-if not in your daily life choices, but in the way you think.
Free thinking costs energy. You may find new choices appear as the quality of thought evolves, develops, changes forms. You may find conclusions previously acceptable are no longer the same. At a certain point, you may wonder, when enough is enough. When is the thinking sufficient for the quality of life you wish to create?
And that is where I would like to propose the idea, a thought is sufficient in as much as the reality of your life matches as much of the ideal of it. Cookie cutters can give a recipe a predicable form, but if it is really being the lead creative director the quality of your life: your health, you relationships, your work, your home and so on-then it is really you who decides what is satisfactory or not.
Consider the entry on Sufficent: early 14c., from Old French soficient “satisfactory,” or directly from Latin sufficientem (nominative sufficiens) “adequate,” present participle of sufficere “to supply as a substitute,” from sub “up to” (see sub-) + combining form of facere “to make, to do” (from PIE root *dhe- “to set, put”).etymology.com
Sufficient thinking can then be considered a personal choice. Without a ruler or guide outside of yourself telling you what is right or wrong way of being mindful, you are right in the main seat of creating your own thoughts, making your own mind, and breaking out of the often cyclic tension derived from social policy and individual freedom to make up your own mind.