Awareness is the secret of life and the heart of mindfulness.
Every moment in life is absolute in itself. It is all that there is. There is nothing other than this present moment; there is no past, there is no future; there is nothing but this. So when we don’t pay attention to each little this, we miss all of it, we miss the point.
It doesn’t matter what the contents of the moment are, each moment is absolute, it is this. Even in doing the little things like washing the dishes, chopping an onion, taking a walk, We must be present and aware aware or we are missing out, we lose this moment.
This moment is all that there is, and all there ever will be. This is the moment that counts. If we miss not just this one moment, but one moment after another, we've lost our path forward and can not live in peace and joy.
Want happiness? Be Present, Be Mindful, Be!!!
In the classes I teach in mindfulness I go in to great detail about how the practice of mindfulness is about creating space. In our mindful practice we learn to create a space within ourselves, a space where we are present, a space that we can accept others, and a space where we have awareness of what's going on around us in this moment.
When we talk about minimalism we talk about removing the clutter in our lives, opening up our physical space. Minimalism is about getting rid of the unnecessary things, both possessions and habits. It's not about getting rid of everything; it's about only holding on to things that serve you, things that have meaning and purpose. We hold on to only the things that are important to us and we prioritize their place in our lives.
So minimalism is an important part of mindfulness and mindfulness is an important part of minimalism, both are about creating space. Removing the clutter in our physical space is much easier than decluttering our minds. When we learn to embrace mindfulness along with our minimalism the results are incredible. It's not easy; it takes practice, it takes discipline and it is a lot of work. We may succeed for a while and fall backwards at times but as time goes on it gets easier and easier because we see the benefits are extraordinary. It is worth every second because your life will change for ever. You come to a place of self-discovery that isn't there with a cluttered mind. You find balance, a holistic balance of the mind, body and spirit that has benefits you can't imagine.
One of the things we discover when we practice mindfulness is that our intentions become much more focused. Intentions are the choices we make and we make hundreds, even thousands of choices every day. The practice of mindfulness brings clarity and creates a space where we are in charge of more of our choices, we are aware of the choices we make and the choices that are made for us. With this clarity we are aware of the fact, that while we can't always choose what happens to us, we can choose how we will react. When we are aware we learn that we can either choose the direction we take or we can let the world choose for us.
Everyday we deal with confrontations, distractions and other things and we usually react in an emotional way, making decisions based on how we feel. Many times the emotional reaction is not the right one, it may feel like it at the time but if we had a bit more clarity we may have chosen to react differently. With mindfulness we use the space we created within ourselves to separate the emotional feelings from the actions we take. We still have emotions of course, but we learn to have space between the emotions and the actions. Instead of tripping over the emotional clutter, we have a minimalist space where we can move around the emotions, to separate them and prioritize how they fit into the action.
Living minimally is about eliminating the unnecessary. It's a practice in focus on the things that are truly meaningful in your life. In this day and age we are trained that we need more to be happy; more money, more things, more food, etc. But this isn't really true is it? How many people who have A LOT of stuff are unhappy? Just because you have everything money can buy you may still not be happy.
Having money is important, we all need money, but if it consumes your life it turns in to a burden. If your sole purpose in life is to get more stuff you are doomed to a life of misery, always chasing the rabbit down the rabbit hole. When you practice mindfulness in a minimalist way you learn to prioritize, you may still want lots of stuff but you don't go after stuff without taking care of yourself, your love and your life first.
"Life is really simple but we choose to make it complicated"-Confucius
Mindfulness is a practice in minimalism. We learn to minimalise our indulgences, our emotional reactions, our lack of focus, and our waste of time. It is a practice in minimizing the clutter, the mind speak, and the voices in our head, in order to set our intentions.
We choose to be aware, we understand what we need, and we realize what's important. We are able to be present in the moment, accepting the past for the lessons it has taught us, but knowing there is nothing we can do to change it. Realizing that what we do in this moment will affect our future, but worrying about it accomplishes nothing.
When you embrace a life of mindfulness you learn to discover your intentions, expand your awareness and know exactly what you need at any given moment in order to feel present.
There is no moment that matters more than the one you are in right now. How refreshing is that?
If you want to know more send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I will send you some information on mindful practices and how to attend a free seminar.
One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that meditation is supposed to be about having a blank mind. This mistaken idea can even be found in stories and on websites promoting meditation. The reality is that you can't make the mind go blank, try as hard as you can it's impossible to have nothing in your mind. Meditation is the practice of quieting the mind, there's a big difference.
Our practice is about reducing the amount of thinking that goes on, quieting the never-ending mind chatter which seems to plague us. Many of the thoughts that run through our mind are supportive of our stress, anxiety, doubts and fears. They feed our addictions and self-doubt. When we practice mindfulness we gain some control over this clutter. When we reduce the noise we find more focus and can turn our attention to helpful things.
With great practice we can even, on occasion experience times when no thoughts arise at all. This doesn't mean the mind is blank it just means we are focused on perceptions, sensations, feelings and emotions....focused on how we feel and how we are. When we are able to focus on THESE things the mind is far from blank. This is the beginning of being mindful. Instead of being a mind full of the worries, fears, doubts and stuff; we have a mindful mind that is focused on what's going on in our heart, in the body and on our place in the world.
When we learn the practice of breath focus we are turning our conscious thoughts on the body. We start to notice our mind quiets and we are able to focus on the space we have within ourselves, the space we open up to others and our space in the world around us. It gives us the best opportunity to notice the body, the deeper part of the mind and the connection to our spirit.
Interesting and amazing things start to happen because we no longer reinforce the unhelpful emotions we usually feel. We find balance and with that we find happiness, and it's a different kind of happiness because we can focus on it. Our body starts to relax and we find newly focused energy because the doubts and negativity about our body goes away; we are able to focus on this energy and this good feeling and along the way find deeper pleasure. We find that the goals we set are more easily attained because we have better focus and can quiet the noise in our heads that make us doubt.
When we learn to focus in mindful ways we have anything but a silent mind. We have a fullness of thought, a focus of intention and a deepness in clarity. When we need to contemplate in meditation we do so in a less judgmental way, we can focus without the constant stream of thoughts running through the mind. We are able to take the thought and allow it to be there, to take center stage and be surrounded by awareness. We then can focus on our intentions with this thought, our emotions around this thought and the responses we have to this thought.
Compare it to watching a music video with images flashing and changing across the screen or standing in an art museum spending time in from of a work of art and taking it all in. In the video the mind is jumping and doesn't have time to focus on the image for long, when focused on the art the mind focused and reflective.
So again, meditation isn't about making the mind go blank, it's about reducing or even eliminating the inner self-talk for periods of time. It's about developing a mindful practice which in time can be something that we do all day long, living a life in mindful focus.
Great contemplation, great ideas and great health are the side effects of mindful practices....make it a habit you never want to quit.