26 Oct. Charlie, Charlie can we play?

I sit every day. I pay attention to the breath and the body. When I lose focus the default mode network (DMN) kicks in. I notice it and come back. No blaming. No judging. No disappointment. No dissatisfaction. This is how the brain works. Not my fault. There is just patience. Driven by the knowledge that the brain is plastic and that I will be able to focus for longer periods of time after sufficient amount of training. It’s a learning process. I’m learning a new skill. Just like learning to play guitar, to draw or to juggle. Just sit every single day. Be realistic. It’s a long-term investment.

I’ve discovered something called cognitive defusion. It contains a great set of tools for disarming unwanted thoughts. You can read about this here. (My favorite strategies are: “Thank the mind”, “Become an Observer”, “Notice when you are judging”.) My problem with thoughts is that they exhaust me. I don’t really have any big issues in my life (well except the obvious big ones: that my life will end with a failure – a death, and that there is a great deal of physical pain ahead of me, and that all of this is also on the agenda for every single person I care about). My most immediate problems are that I daydream, catastrophize and worry a lot. And when I do, my body reacts as if the fantasies were real. Since everything that happens has to be perceived by the brain first the external vs. internal division doesn’t make sense.

I think a lot of why do I need Buddhism… I know that there is a good simple answer. I know.

My son saw this 3AM Charlie, Charlie Challenge on YouTube. And he asked me to do it with him. I would do everything for my son, but there is no way I’m getting up at 3AM. So we did it during the day and I showed him that the breath is what actually moves the pencil. No ghosts involved.

But before I showed it to him, he was absolutely convinced that the supernatural powers were involved. To what extent I’m also like my son?

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