“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”
If you read this definition carefully, you can find everything you need in order to conceptually understand the meaning of mindfulness: Awareness that arises: is the GOAL of mindfulness, i.e. the main thing you can expect from practicing mindfulness.
Awareness is complicated because of the huge variety of things that go through your consciousness. Some have a high emotional charge and some have a low one. It’s easy to watch the pain of a slight headache. The pain of a bitter divorce or grief is different matter.
There are so many ways during the day we can practice awareness and mindfulness.
When you first wake up in the morning before you get out of bed, bring your attention to your breathing. Observe 5 mindful breaths.
Notice the changes in your posture. Be aware of how your body and mind feel when you move from lying down to sitting, sitting to standing, standing to walking. Notice each time you make a transition from one posture to the next.
When you’re in the shower, be in the shower, not solving problems at work already. When you’re making breakfast for you or your family, consider the intention of that being to take care of yourself and others through the day. Put some love into your food. If there are pets or other family members in the house, before you leave make sure to say an intentional goodbye, looking into their eyes
Throughout the day, take a few moments to bring your attention to your breathing. Observe 5 mindful breaths.
Whenever you eat or drink something, take a minute and breathe. Pay attention as you eat, consciously consuming this food for your physical health. Bring awareness to your food, seeing it, smelling it, tasting it, chewing it and swallowing it.
Bring awareness to listening and talking. Can you listen without agreeing or disagreeing, liking or disliking, or planning what you will say when it is your turn? When talking, can you just say what you need to say without overstating or understating? Can you notice how your mind and body feel?
When waiting in a queue, use the time to notice your standing and breathing. Feel the contact of your feet with the floor and how your body feels. Bring your attention to the rising and falling of your abdomen. Are you feeling impatient?
Before you go to sleep at night, take a few minutes and bring your attention to your breathing. Observe five mindful breaths.
As you do this, you develop three qualities of mind.
The term mindfulness means being conscious, being aware of something. It means being able to remember where you’re supposed to be — with the body — and you don’t let yourself forget.
It means being aware of what is actually going on in the present. What is happening with the body? Is the breath comfortable? Simply notice what’s actually happening in the present moment. We tend to confuse mindfulness with alertness, but actually they are two separate things: mindfulness means being able to remember where you want to keep your awareness; alertness means being aware of what’s actually happening.
It means two things. One, if you realize when the mind has wandered off, you bring it right back. Immediately. You don’t let it wander around, creating fantasies. Two, when the mind is with its proper frame of reference, ardency means trying to be as sensitive as possible to what’s going on — not just drifting in the present moment, but really trying to penetrate more and more into the subtle details of what’s actually happening with the breath or the body.
When you have these three qualities, you can’t help but settle down and get really comfortable with the body in the present moment.
This is a sample of a chapter published in the book, The Book of Energy Healing. To pick up your copy click here.