Guidelines vs Rules: Practicing Mindfulness


This week, I’m in Norway with my kids and my mom and dad (Well, when this is posted, I will be in Norway). Now I’m sitting on my couch in Los Angeles, preparing for my trip by writing the posts for when I’m away. For me, constancy + discipline = self-love. These are aspirations, not hard rules. There are no hard rules.

Same with the guidelines I receive when on silent retreat. No rules. No ways to be. Just guidelines to follow. Opportunities to wake up and end suffering. What a kind way to approach life.

Pay attention to everything. Feelings, thoughts, sensations, habits, stories.

These are your guidance system. Clues. Information about how you are, where you are, why you are.

Embrace everything. Yes, yes, yes, yes. Thank you.

Believe nothing. That conversation running in your head about what so and so is thinking, or what they did means, or the way you believe the world to be. This is an invitation to stop and ask yourself – Is that so?

This is when practice starts getting fun. The endless barrage of thoughts continues, but you no longer entertain it as truth or at all. Combine this with the next one and you’re tripping in la-la-land. Birds singing and all.

Take nothing personally. Least of all, yourself.

Use everything to help you be free of suffering.




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