Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Mindfulness

     Mindfulness, a more profound awareness, is not something that we can direct, that we can create with our thinking self.  Mindfulness is a state of existence that arises as we become more aware of our habitual impulses, our conditioned nature, our patterns of thought and behavior, and begin to stop allowing these habits to dictate how we respond to the world.  Mindfulness does not automatically make me one feel less invaded by thoughts and memories, but rather it helps one live in a more harmonious relationship with them.
       By placing one's awareness on the breath, one comes to see thoughts as just thoughts-----that they shift and change, coming and going like passing clouds.   We can easily get caught up in our thoughts, trapped in the illusion that they are reality.   By focusing on the breath, one becomes an observer of one's thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, neither attaching to them nor rejecting them.  This is the practice of  MINDFULNESS. 
       This is the practice that leads to liberation and peace.
   Mindfulness definition comes from the book by Claude Anshin Thomas, "At Hell's Gate, A Soldier's Journey from War to Peace". Shambhala, Boston, 2004.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing daddio! What a great description! It reminds me of something I heard somewhere (and I am adding my own words too) that practicing with mindfulness and studying the self, like we do in Zen, helps us to give "unconditioned responses in a conditioned world." Basically helps us not be robots but thoughtful beings making thoughtful decisions.

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