Mindfulness vs Conditioned Responses


Having just retired and survived all the hoopla, I sat down tonight to have a good think.

I am freer now than I have ever been. Not just free from mundane responsibilities like working at the bank, but free also from so many limiting ideas about who and what I am.

Kris’ new Skype workshop about the Deep Self is carrying this even higher as I understand that I have all the tools and resources to achieve my heartfelt desires in this plane of existence.

So, not only do we not have to go to work in the morning, but we are in possession of tested knowledge of our abilities within consciousness, and confirmed understanding of the endless help and encouragement available.

All of this combined with my new understanding of the immense potency of mindfulness has catapulted my expectations and probabilities into totally awesome and unsuspected territories.

By being present to what I am doing in this moment, I have begun to see that I have two different ways of doing stuff.

One way is to do ‘the idea of something’ instead of doing the actual thing. Here I am talking about habits and conditioned responses.

The difference between doing something out of habit, basically on autopilot, and actually doing that thing with your whole attention and consideration is dramatic and significant.

When we are on autopilot we are doing ‘the idea of something’. We’re running a program. We want to pick up our coffee cup and we engage a conditioned, habitual series of actions that have allowed us to pick up our coffee cup a thousand times in the past.

Being present and mindful means we are paying attention to our present being. We are scrutinizing the coffee cup as our hand approaches. We reconnoiter its surroundings and decide how to pick it up and bring it to our lips. Meanwhile, we are aware of our whole environment, inside and out.

What drew my attention to the difference here is that my own autopilot began to fail. From time to time lately, I would tip over the coffee cup, or miss the light switch, bang my elbow on the door, and various other little mishaps that began to show me the value of looking carefully at what I was doing.

These habits, conditioned responses, and programs, have been very useful for a long time but for me, they all started to fail, to break down, and they only work some of the time. They are no longer dependable.

This has brought me gently back to paying attention, noticing exactly what my hands are doing and being aware of the surrounding environment.

Not just the micro-environment of the coffee cup, for instance, but the whole environment around me – inner and outer – including how I am standing, how I feel, whether I am relaxed or anxious, what ideas and images are presenting themselves.

Habits have been very helpful for me. And conditioned responses are great because you don’t have to think or pay attention. When the bell rings, you salivate.

In the past this allowed us to focus throughout our day on the things that mattered to us at that time; work, career, partner and children, competing, physical pleasure, house, car, money, the future.

The transformation we are undergoing in the Shift means that most of this is now less meaningful to us or has a different meaning altogether.

We want to understand the world and our place in it, we need connection and meaning, we want to know who and what we are.

The downside of autopilot is that it insulates us from our experiences. If we are on autopilot we are mostly not aware of what exactly is happening. That’s the whole point, we can focus elsewhere.

In terms of our transition in the Shift though, this is not helpful anymore. We have begun to understand that our experience in the now is really all there is.

It is through this now experience that we have access to our other aspects and the deep Self. If we are on autopilot we miss all of this.

So it is very important to be utterly present to ourselves in this and every now. This is our point of power and the only place and time where the continually upsurging glories of our infinite divinity can be noticed and engaged.

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