The relationship we have with mindfulness is a present event. It is Now.
We are stuck with our automaticity – our brain as it is – and when we choose to be mindful we attempt to move away from the mechanics of our brain, into the mind. In other words, we seek to experience the world from a mindful place, not a ‘brainful’ place.
The brain collates. It marks down our experience. The recording of experience is memory. When we think of that recording in a mindful sense, memory forms a narrative of ourselves to ourselves.
Memory has other realities as well – the biological reality, which is the chemical reality, the electrical reality, the neurological reality, and the connectedness that exists in the world right now that allows us to interact with others. These are all automatic functions that are in the brain. Using imaging technology, we are able to see the various functions light up areas of the brain as they become active. In these images we don’t see the mind. We see the brain.
The sum is greater than the parts. The mind is greater than the brain, but the mind is dependent on the brain. Without brain, we have no mind.
Our narratives move from brain to mind, and mind to brain.
The brain will insist that things haven’t changed, because that’s what the brain does, while the mind says, “That’s not how I want to store this stuff. I want to reorder it in some way so I’m not depressed or anxious all the time” – or whatever the issue might be.
In mindfulness, in the Now, we can attempt to change our automatic narrative by keeping the information our brain has stored out of mind for a few moments.