Mind Doing and Mind Being


"Mindfulness is the simple art of replacing thinking with experiencing." Mokokoma Mokhonoana, philosopher

In his book, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression, psychologist Zindel V. Segal, Ph.D., suggests mindfulness meditation as a way to notice the mode of our mind.


He writes that, basically, there are two modes of mind, 'doing' and 'being'. The 'doing' mode is the default setting. It is the goal setting mind which causes us to fixate on problem-solving. This mode keeps the mind narrowly focused, trying to bridge the gap between how things are and how we want them to be. The inner chatter is about 'How am I doing?, 'This shouldn't be happening' 'How can I do better?' .


'Doing' mind mode can lead to stress, rumination and depression. Most of us unconsciously spend the majority of our waking hours in this busy 'doing' mode, we don't realize that we are not in touch with the depth and joy of simply being. Basically, we aren't here and we don't know we aren't here.


Meditation practice helps us see which mode we are in and allows the mind to shift to 'being' mode, "where it has nothing to do and nowhere to go and can focus fully on moment-by-moment experience, allowing us to be fully present and aware of whatever is here, right now."


This is the portal to another dimension of reality (presence) that opens creativity, joy and coherence. It also benefits the body-mind, shifting from the sympathetic nervous system (fight-flight) into the healing state of homeostasis through the parasympathetic nervous system.


"For the one who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his very mind will be his greatest enemy." --Bhagavad-gita 6.6 Sankhya-yoga

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