The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgementally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.
-Jon Kabat Zinn
Mindfulness as a pathway within
Over the past 20 years I have noticed that we have an insatiable appetite for understanding why something happened and why we feel the way we do. We have a belief that if we understand what is wrong with us or why someone hurt us, then we can fix it and move on. We are not broken, we do not need to be fixed.
Of course we all know that growth and healing does not happen in the linear thinking mind but involves the body, mind, emotions, and spirit. The journey to freedom is inward, to uncover who we truly are in our essential nature. This requires being present and it is a consistent practice of mindfulness that connects us to that. Sometimes things can not be understood logically.
When we work in the intellectual mind we bypass our emotions, these emotions are usually great indicators of what is speaking to us and calling for attention. We miss the opportunity to be fully present to our experiences when we try to understand them. Healing occurs in the present moment with all of our Being fully aware and open.
The practice of mindfulness
The practice of mindfulness brings us into the present moment. This practice allows us to pay attention, intentionally both to the inner Self and what is happening around us. Bring awareness to your thoughts. Notice whats thought you may be having but don’t get attached to the meaning of the thought. Bring attention to your physical body.
Notice any sensations without judgement. Thoughts and feelings will come and go during your practice, don’t try and suppress… just notice.
As we notice what is happening within and around us we can bring awareness to each experience, allowing ourselves to truly feel our emotions, notice our thoughts and be aware of sensations in the body. One of the essential components of mindfulness is that we don’t judge our experiences.
We are so quick to put things in a category of good or bad, right or wrong, what we like or what we don’t like and the list goes on. Practicing mindfulness involves experiencing the moment as it is and not moving into judgement. It is nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment. Find that place in the center between the polarities, the place where our Essential Self exists.
Muscle of attention
We strengthen our muscle of attention with consistent mindfulness practice and meditation. Practice helps train the mind to pay attention to each moment and experience. Mindfulness can be practiced in our day to day activities. Let go of the feelings of failure and shame around having to have a perfect meditation practice. Begin by introducing mindfulness into your daily activities.
3 Ways to Practice Mindfulness today
- Mindful Driving. Drive to work without the radio on and be aware of your hands on the wheel, your sitting in the seat, the movement around you and within you.
- Mindful Eating. Sit in silence and notice the taste and texture of the food, how it feels in your stomach, all other sensations.
- Mindful Breathing. Bring full attention to your breath as you breathe in and the sensations of your breath as you breathe out. Notice the thoughts that enter and just simply pay attention on purpose, without judgement over and over.
You will find that the consistency of your practice will offer relief from many challenges like anxiety, stress and depression to name a few.
Love and Light, Marion