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Mindfulness is about being present, being here and now. This may sound quite simple, but most people are distracted by their thoughts. They are not present at all.
The value of being present cannot be over-stated. Your body resides in the immediate. Your existence takes place in the immediate. Although your thoughts may wander near and far, you are here.
Awareness involves seeing, hearing and feeling. Having awareness is good but it needs to be applied. It is not enough to simply know, you must also be prepared to do.
Mindful conduct involves acting appropriately, in accord with what is happening. This requires a certain degree of flexibility, adaptation, openness and awareness.
Being willing to change in relation to outside stimuli rests at the heart of mindfulness.
Mindful behaviour is considerate. It is not phoney or contrived; it involves taking responsibility for your own conduct and being sensitive to the consequences of your actions.
This is accomplished through intuition rather than planning or psychology.
Total immersion in the moment enables a person to act without thinking, to move without hesitation and to choose without seeming to.
To be mindful, your attention must cease to be directed upon yourself. It must face outward and feel the nature of your relationship with everything else.
You move as one with those around you; there is no division between you and another.
Shedding the insincerity
People are not so keen to shed all the rubbish they have accumulated. The image. The reputation. The opinions. The viewpoint. The politics. The money. The possessions.
However, the very things that we hide behind and cling to so desperately are the very things that blind us from reality.
Some people think that mindfulness means to have something going on in your mind.
They misunderstand the term 'mindfulness' entirely, believing it to mean thinking, worrying, extrapolating. This is the opposite of what mindfulness means.
Alcohol, drugs, sugar, smoking etc hinder mindfulness. e.g. alcohol dulls the senses.
The original meaning of intoxication is "a poisoning". The euphoria people experience from alcohol isn't the outcome of being healthy and present. It is the consequence of poisoning the brain.
You cannot be mindful and clear if your brain is dulled. Drinking alcohol is the polar opposite of mindfulness.
People may drink alcohol regularly, read this information and then object... It can be worth asking yourself why?
The answers are simple: habit, lifestyle attachment, emotional investment, peer pressure, self-image and even (potentially) addiction. Common sense and reason are inconvenient.
Impediments to meditation
• Mobile phones
• The internet
• Social media
• Video games
• The news
• Phoney behaviour
• Passive aggressive traits
• Talking rather than doing
• Mock humility
• Social games/role play e.g. "I have no time" "I'm too busy"
• Lack of commitment
You don't empty the mind just to lobotomise
yourself; it's not mindlessness.
You empty it so that it can be refilled by what you're experiencing. It's empty of the chatter, it's empty of the neurotic anxiety, it's empty of preconceived notions, it's empty of opinions, it's empty of politics, it's empty of social conventions, and if you empty your mind of all that, it's a cleansing process.
Then you can allow it to be filled by the true experience of what you're doing.
created 17 April 1996
Last updated 07 November 2018