034 – Two Modes of the Mind & The Four A’s

Mindfulness Online Training

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Practical guidance on mindfulness and being in the present moment. I introduce the Two Modes of the Mind: “Lost in thought” and “Being Present”. One of the main goals of spiritual practice is to move from the former to the latter. The practical Four A’s framework (Awareness, Acceptance, Appropriate Action) is then introduced showing the two paths that lead from the two modes of the mind.

This training content follows on from earlier Podcast 31 – Introduction to Mindfulness including Mindfulness Meditation.

You may also be interested in listening to related Podcast 17 – Two Modes of The Mind.

Further detail can be found in the book Being Present.

Key points from the talk

  • Mindfulness is awareness and acceptance of bodily sensations, things entering the senses, feelings and thoughts in the present moment.
  • The plus in Mindfulness+ is the spiritual dimension.
  • Mindfulness+ can help you access an infinite amount of wisdom.
  • Mindfulness+ enables you to be who you truly are which is the same as who everybody else is.
  • Two Modes of the Mindtwo-modes-of-the-mind
    • The mind is either lost in thought or being present (mindful).
    • The goal is to be less lost in thought and more present.
    • Lost in thought
      • When the mind is lost in thought – that’s the ego temporarily taking control of the mind.
      • Because being lost in thought is based on the ego and craving, it’s unskilful. The thoughts will be unskilful and what manifests from the thoughts will be harmful.
      • The harm can be anything from something subtle to something gross.
      • The mode ‘being lost in thought’ is misaligned with what the universe needs – it’s disharmonious.
      • Unstable because it is controlled by the ego.
      • Who we truly are has lost its connection with the mind.
      • It’s not mindful.
      • We’re trapped in thought patterns that are limited to the ego.
      • We’re trapped in our own mind – like being in a prison.
      • Very isolating and constraining. And often very habitual.
      • This is the opposite of yoga (being in union with who we are – who we need to be).
    • When you’re Present / Mindful
      • Thoughts are love-based. They’re skilful and kind.
      • Any thoughts that arise out of being present are aligned with what’s needed.
      • Any subsequent communication or physical action are also aligned with what’s needed.
      • You find that you’re more harmonious with things, people, situations around you when you’re present.
      • A present mind is a stable mind – it doesn’t run away with itself.
      • A present mind is peaceful and grounded.
      • This mode enables acceptance.
      • If you can open up to the spiritual dimension it’s infinitely liberating.
      • Another way of describing yoga – union with the one.
    • The mind flips between these two states: lost in thought or being present
      • In the day when we’re physically awake and also when we’re asleep night.
      • At night when we’re asleep, we’re either lost in thought (dreaming) or present (when the mind is still and connected to the source).
    • The move from being lost in thought to being present usually happens gradually.
    • If we can be aware of when we’re lost in thought that’s great because that means we can become present again.
  • The Four As
    Screenshot 2018-12-16 at 17.58.32.png

    • Two paths the mind takes: The Green and the Red
    • Green Path
      • Begins with awareness.
      • You can then bring acceptance to what’s going on – because you have a choice to accept.
      • Through accepting things, what flows naturally from that is right action or skilful action.
      • The plus (spiritual dimension) drives the appropriate action (thoughts, communication, physical action) , which is the right thing to do.
      • Life will flow harmoniously when this path is followed.
      • A path of peace and love.
    • Red Path
      • When we’re lost in thoughts.
      • Can’t accept things because we’re not aware of them – we can’t accept what we’re not aware of.
      • In resistance to the present moment.
      • The mind then escapes  and the ego takes control.
      • The mind then gets lost in the past and future, worrying, story telling, fantasising, proliferation.
      • This mode also drives unskilful communication or physical action. I.e. saying or doing something inappropriate.
      • We’ve temporarily lost touch with our mind and who we are.
      • Once we catch this happening, it’s a matter of being aware/being present again and following the Green Path.
      • The Red Path is a path of stress and harm.
    • Spiritual practice is following the Green Path.

Copyright © 2019 Darren Cockburn. All Rights Reserved


4 Comments on “034 – Two Modes of the Mind & The Four A’s

  1. Found the explanation of the 4 A’s and an understanding of two modes really helpful. This will help me learn to be more mindful. Thanks!

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