Sunflower Mind: Embodied relational mindfulness & a different sense of self
Every form of life is relational: It cannot exist on its own, independent of its environment. The "sunflower" metaphor illustrates how living organisms orient in response to their environment. It helps us see the human mind in the broader context of all other life forms. Living is interaction, whether a given life form has a sophisticated brain, a rudimentary brain, or no brain. Hence, an embodied, "bottom-up" perspective on the human mind. And, instead of our traditional sense of the self as permanent, or even rigid... a fluid sense of self as what happens in interaction.
This website includes a video about Sunflower Mind that starts below, on this page. See also: What is Relational Mindfulness?
The Sunflower Mind video is divided into several short clips, with transcripts. Here is the introduction:
So, Sunflower Mind, huh?
What is going on in the mind of the sunflower, as it is moving with the sun?
I'm inviting you to think of this as a metaphor - as something that has a poetic truth as opposed to a literal truth.
And we're going to talk a little bit more about what the metaphor is about, and how to carry it, and how to use it.
But it certainly is not situation where we should be a slave to the metaphor. We can really enjoy playing with mixed metaphors - changing them, not be consistent.
There's something at the heart of it that might, after we talk about it for a while, have some kind of a poetic truth to you. And that poetic truth is going to be elusive. It's going to mean something to somebody, and something else to somebody else. It's going to mean something else to you one moment than the other, and there will be some degree of similarity and some degree of difference, and that's okay.
I'm suggesting that you embrace them, as we continue talking about Sunflower Mind, and what goes on in the mind of the sunflower as it moves with the sun.
Sunflower Mind is edited by Serge Prengel. See also Proactive Mindfulness Resources.