Mistakes and Meditating Mindfully

A yoga teacher once told me that everything comes from within us. Stress, experiences, lessons; they all radiate from our systems of belief. We can choose to ignore it, but that’s only skin deep. Something that you can ignore can come back to you when you least expect it, and because you allow it. It’s human nature, but we can unlearn this.

baby-1399332_640Over at lunch I had a little boo-boo with someone: I misunderstood her directions and she misunderstood what I said. I was taken aback at one of her comments, but given that I knew it was my fault to begin with, I immediately apologized. Throughout lunch I sulked around (I didn’t even finish my lentil stew!) and snapped my mom for taking so long (we had to do a bit of shopping for our pantry after eating). It was a domino effect until took the proverbial step back and whispered to myself: “wait.”

Suddenly I had remembered my yoga teacher’s aphorism. All this violent reaction emanated from me and no one else. I stressed myself out because of what I perceived as a reprimand, and got my mom involved by blaming her for not getting me a laptop (I work on her computer when she doesn’t use it). And I ended up buying milk tea just to calm myself down because I believed I “deserved it.” I hid behind material goods and a self-righteous attitude because my ego was hurt. In the path towards enlightenment, that could have been a step towards the right direction.

Right direction?

Yes. Once you realize that you’re wrong, you’re stepping forward. You do not move when you do not realize you’re wrong.

Mistakes always happen. For me, I’m the CEO of Making Mistakes, Inc. But why do we make mistakes?

Mistakes happen because we have different perceptions of reality. A lack of meditation makes us prone to more mistakes. It’s not about learning a lesson or high levels of maturity. It’s about being mindful. Mistakes are the effect of little to no meditation. Our consciousness is clouded, and it will be more clouded when we violently react to scenarios.

And that’s what mistakes are. Scenarios. They are neither positive nor negative. They just are. We put sense or meaning into them because of what we grew up with. Unfortunately, sometimes we grow old remembering these scenarios, letting them haunt our being. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

smile-1275668_640My advice with making mistakes is to let them be and surrender. Acknowledge their existence, and let go. It’s easier said than done, but with constant practice, you will achieve enlightenment. And enlightenment, mind you, is not a passionless, emotionless state of being, but rather it’s a reality where anger and hate no longer exist. You can be passionate about a project or a business, and this business of yours is enlightened because you are not angry with your staff or you do not cuss at competitors. Enlightenment is the reality we will one day wake up to. Right now, we are in a painful dream.

Patanjali wrote in his Yoga Sutra:

Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.

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Let your mistakes take you forward; do not allow yourself to stay put. They are simply there, but you don’t have to be with one mistake for the rest of your life.

Be good; namaste!