Mindfulness

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A lot has been written about mindfulness. It is a desirable trait. Mindfulness should be practised when “sitting, walking, eating…” Mindfulness is being aware of what you are doing while you are doing it. “In walking, there is only walking”. Here is a story:

I was sitting with a friend in front of my fire in McLeod Ganj and she leapt up screaming “There’s a scorpion”! I lept up too and barely missed putting my hand on it. It scuttled off who knows where. On another occasion, again in front of the fire with a friend. She said, “Philip don’t move but there is a scorpion walking towards you.”  I looked down calmly and slowly moved away. I caught it with the fire-tongs and threw it out of the door. (A friend was stung by one on her knee and couldn’t walk for three days, Indian scorpions!  African ones kill you.)

To be reactionary is not mindful.  The fight-or-flight response (also called hyperarousal, or the acute stress response) is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. It was first described by Walter Bradford Cannon. It is very primitive. In mindfulness, we see things as they are and react likewise in a mindful manner. This is vastly superior to the fight-flight response. Mindfulness precedes this response.

So be mindful it’s good for you.

On the plus side:

Scorpions needn’t always be an anathema to mankind. An Alabama-based biotech company called TransMolecular, Inc. is working on a tumor-killing drug made out of scorpion venom. The pharmaceutical is geared specifically toward treating a variety of brain tumors called gliomas, which affect about 16,500 Americans per year.

So there! 🙂

 

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