Minneapolis Counseling Lounge

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Mindfulness October 8, 2011

Filed under: self awareness — Lyndsey Fraser, MA, LMFT @ 1:28 pm

Some people do not know the difference between mindfulness and concentration. They concentrate on what they’re doing, thinking that is being mindful. . . . We can concentrate on what we are doing, but if we are not mindful at the same time, with the ability to reflect on the moment, then if somebody interferes with our concentration, we may blow up, get carried away by anger at being frustrated. If we are mindful, we are aware of the tendency to first concentrate and then to feel anger when something interferes with that concentration. With mindfulness we can concentrate when it is appropriate to do so and not concentrate when it is appropriate not to do so.
Ajahn Sumedho

 

The Lotus Flower in Relation to Therapy October 7, 2011

Filed under: self awareness — Lyndsey Fraser, MA, LMFT @ 11:22 pm

The Lotus Flower grows in the deep mud, far away from the sun. But, sooner or later, the Lotus reaches the light becoming the most beautiful flower ever.

The Lotus flower is regarded in many different cultures, especially in eastern religions, as a symbol of purity, enlightenment, self-regeneration and rebirth. Its characteristics are a perfect analogy for the human condition: even when its roots are in the dirtiest waters, the Lotus produces the most beautiful flower.  (original from Suite 101:  May 7, 2010: Thais Campos: http://thaiscampos.suite101.com/the-symbolic-meaning-of-the-lotus-flower-a234559).

The Lotus flower grows out of some of the dirtiest waters.  It originally forms in the muck and the mud before it pushes its blossoms above the dirty water.  Even at night the blossoms will close and the flower will sit below the water until the next day when the sun rises.   The Lotus has symbolized the process of self-awareness and enlightenment.  To meet self-awareness one must move through suffering before joy can be found.  I have found that the therapy process parallels the growth of the lotus flower.  To reach self-awareness one must move through the “mud” and “dirty water” before the “light” above can be seen.  

The therapy process starts in the “mud”, looking at the aspects of our lives that we have avoided and are unaware.    During the process of therapy the seeds of growth are found.  The therapist and client “fertilize” these seeds to grow.  Upon growth the self can push through the darkness and find full consciousness.  When full consciousness and awareness are made one can become in touch with the true self.  Through therapy one can reach his or her own enlightenment.  This provides the individual, couple, or family with the tools to comfort and care for the relationship or self.  But like the lotus flower one can never be constant in the light, one will dip under the dirty water.  But with the tools learned in therapy one can pull oneself back into the light, much like the cycle of the lotus flower.