Mindfulness Video Part 4

Part Four: The What Skills: Participating

The What Skills: Participating
The third 'what' skill is participating.   When you are participating you just throw yourself in to what you are doing. The idea of participating is to try to become one with the activity.  Participating is when you lose self consciousness - you lose consciousness of yourself in an activity. 

Participating is really the goal of observing and describing.  I mean, the point of life is to participate in it.

When we're participating in living in our life, we often run into problems.  And then what do you do when you run into a problem? Well you have to step back.  You have to step back. You have to observe. Then you try to describe - try to figure out and understand what's going on.  You try to explain what the problem is.  Then once you've figured out what's wrong, try to correct it. 

Correcting usually takes a lot of practice.  So you may really have to describe what you're doing.  Observe and describe; observe and describe; observe and describe.  And then, sooner or later, if you keep at it, what happens?  You can participate.


Have you ever noticed how musicians become one with the music? Piano players just all over the place; they just become one.  Have you ever seen how dramatic they are? Horn players are the same way.  That's participating.
Now imagine that you found out that the way you were playing the music was incorrect. You'd actually gotten the notes wrong. What do you think would happen?  Well, you would step back.  You would observe what you were doing that was incorrect.  You would describe it.  In other words you would explain it.  You would say 'no, I'm playing A when I'm supposed to be playing C sharp'. And you'd pay a lot of attention, you'd observe and describe, observe and describe, observe and describe.  But what's the point of all this?  The point of all that is to get so you can participate again.

Participating is really hard.  If you're socially shy or anxious when you're around people, very nervous when you are performing, it can be really hard to participate. You're a person then that has to work on it. Ask yourself, do you sort of stand in the corner? Do you stay out of things? Do you spend your whole time just observing what's going on? If you're that kind of person, practice participating.

Are you the kind of person that when you go on a vacation never looks at anything, you just take pictures of it all?  I've done that.  That's the nonparticipating vacationer. If you're that kind of person, you're going to some day want to go on a vacation and leave that camera at home. You're going to just want to look at the mountains.  It's amazing they actually look different when you're looking at them than they do in a picture.

Those are the three 'what' skills. Observe. Describe.  Participate.

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