Anyone who is using email surely know about auto-response email. That’s the email one has to use, once being away from office, from work, taking vacation or some days off. Basically, the content should read like “Thanks for reaching out to me. I’m not here right now. And would be back by… Should there be any urgent matter about …, please contact this number…” It’s usually going like that. Then, whenever a person tries to contact him or her through email, the system would automatically send back the auto-response content right away, without any second of thought. Once you receive the auto-response email, it means that the receiver is not there. He or she is absent.
It clicked me one day, once I got one of those auto-response emails like that. It reminds me that this auto-response is not just happening in email, it’s happening many times in our mind.
We auto-respond a lot, without even a second of thought. Once we see a bike, our feeling is immediately right there, instantly: whether we like the shape or not, whether we like the color or not, whether we like the sound of the exhaust or not, or even whether we like the biker who rides the bike or not. Certainly, we miss the whole process of data processing, step by step, about how the shape, the color, the sound,… are received by our body’s senses and how it is interpreted (based on what we have known, experienced, been biased, …) to the point it yields the feeling of love or hatred. We only know the very end result: the feeling. That process is too automatically happening. It seems like we have very less influence on this auto-response system, inside our body. How powerless is that, don’t you see?
It’s similar to the auto-response email is that we are not there, if the response is auto. We’re there, but we are really not there. As we don’t even know the whole process.
Yeah, most of the time we’re not there with our body and our mind. Our body and our mind run many auto-processes without any awareness of us. That’s how it also runs our life. And that’s why mindfulness, the awareness, can help us to “win” back our life. As we would know more into these auto-processes. And that’s when we can have more options to respond, instead of just the option of auto-response, while we’re not there.