mindful of our Chilli thoughts and feelings

mindful of our Chilli thoughts and feelings

Mindful of our Chilli thoughts and feelings

As I looked at the beautiful chillies growing in our bathroom, it made me think of different people’s reactions to them. We have an international evening coming up where a range of curries from Asia and Africa will be available- all of them spiced with chilli. Some people will avoid the curries. Others will ask which the mild one is. And some will ask, ‘where is the really hot one?’
Sometimes our thoughts and feelings can be a bit like a red hot chilli, something we try and avoid. However, mindfulness faces, tastes and dissolves the thoughts and feelings we try to avoid.
And a bit like eating curry, the more we do this, the more our tolerance is to the more painful thoughts and feelings. As we are exposed to the taste of curries, we can begin to experiment with hotter ones. As we are exposed to the taste of our sharper thoughts and feelings, we can tolerate more and more painful ones – rather than avoiding them.
By facing them and tasting them, the amazing truth is that they begin to dissolve and lose their afflictive power in our lives.

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7 responses to “mindful of our Chilli thoughts and feelings”

  1. Rich says :

    Interesting. Why do our thoughts and feelings dissolve through mindfulness but remain through mind-lessness?

    • shaunlambert says :

      That is a brilliant question, and I don’t have the complete answer. I think it is something to do with the nature of thoughts and feelings themselves. Generally they are passing events in the mind, but suppressing them can make them come back repeatedly, and wrestling/ruminating with them seems to increase their power.

  2. Rich says :

    More traditional CBT seems to involve a more confrontational approach to negative thoughts that can involve a trigger for inner argument. Mindfulness seems to be a gentler approach. The process of observing our own thoughts and feelings enables detachment from those that are less helpful. As Christians do we want to cultivate detachment from all thoughts and feelings?

    What would you say are the distinctive features of Mindfulness based CBT compared with traditional CBT?

    • shaunlambert says :

      Hi,good points and worth doing a comparison. Re detachment – a very important question. For Christians it is detachment from afflictive thoughts, also for mindfulness the teachers talk about intimate detachment.

  3. Rich says :

    Ok. Thanks for that. I’ve not heard of the term intimate detachment. How would you describe this and do you know of any online articles that are helpful? Thank you.

    • shaunlambert says :

      Intimate detachment is not about unfeeling or not feeling, but experiencing the thoughts, feelings and sensations we have fully, but not clinging to them.
      I’m not sure of who first coined the phrase.

  4. Rich says :

    The concept of mindfulness with kindness towards self is a fascinating and liberating prospect for Christians. I think for too long the theology of the church has been focused on sin instead of new life in Christ. Although many Chtistians say they believe in the cross too often we can live as if it hasn’t happened at all. We don’t know how to relate to self with grace and kindness. We are too busy punishing self for sin that Jesus has already paid the price for. If God in Christ is kind towards us, why are we not kind towards self?

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