Chekawa’s 7 point mind training suggests that the challenges that life throws in our way play an important role in helping us evolve as individuals.
Chekawa says “transform adverse conditions into the path to enlightenment”. Typically we tend to run a mile from difficult life situations forever seeking happiness and contentment, command and control. When life throws a challenge or a barrier up, or some difficulty our initial reaction is to rant against it – confront it, seek to win or run a mile. For many, adversity in all of its guises is a battle to be won, or at least to scramble off the battlefield, a survivor with scars and medals.
What the 7 point mind training suggests is that we consider each and every adverse situation as an opportunity to self-actualise, to evolve and grow as an individual. This is counter intuitive, but a bit like Jesus’ suggestion of ‘turning the other cheek’, this approach can break the cycle of aggro and open up a range of possibilities.
It took a very english yogi a long time to recognise that the difficulties he faced (in all their guises) were merely opportunities to learn and grow from. It’s not easy, and he doesn’t consistently practice this – but each time life throws another spanner in the works – a very english yogi thinks “ah, now here’s an opportunity to test my patience/kindness/optimism/helpfulness”.
When confronted with difficulties a good reaction initially is to observe your breath and make a gentle and concious effort to breath deeply, using the breath to pause the mind from reacting in its usual ego-ravaged way. The pause that is created, and the breath that flows, can help inject a sense of perspective and serve to remind you that the difficulty you are facing requires consideration as an opportunity to grow. You may read this and think this sounds trite, however why not give it a go. Life itself is a big experiment so why not do some investigations?