It is always now. The reality of your life is always now. And to realize this you will see, is liberating. In fact, I think there is nothing more important to understand if you want to be happy in this world.
Join me for meditation & mindfulness during Core Conditioning Tuesday’s at 9am & Saturdays at 8:45am
But we spend most of our lives forgetting this truth; overlooking it, fleeing it, repudiating it. And the horror is that we succeed. We managed to avoid being happy while struggling to become happy, fulfilling one desire after the next, vanishing our fears, grasping at pleasure, recoiling from pain, and thinking, interminably, about how best to keep the whole works up and running. As a consequence, we spend our lives being far less content then we might otherwise be. We often fail to appreciate what we have until we have lost it. We crave experiences, objects, relationships, only to grow bored with them. And yet the craving persist.
There is nothing spooky about mindfulness. It is simply a state of clear, non-judgemental, and undistracted attention to the contents of consciousness, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Cultivating this quality of mind has been shown to reduce pain, anxiety and depression; improve cognitive function; even produced changes in gray matter density in regions of the brain related to learning and memory, emotional regulation, and self-awareness.
The Buddha described four foundations of mindfulness, which he taught as “the direct pass for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and limitation, for the disappearance of pain and grief, and for the attainment of the true way”. The four foundations of mindfulness are the body (breathing, changes in posture, activities); feelings (the senses of pleasantness, unpleasantness and neutrality; the mind (its moods and attitudes); and the objects of mind (which include the five senses but also other mental states such as volition, tranquility, rapture, equanimity, and even mindfulness itself).
There is nothing passive about mindfulness. Being mindful is not a matter of thinking more clearly about experience- it is the act of experiencing more clearly, including the arising of thoughts themselves. Mindfulness is a vivid awareness of whatever is appearing in one’s mind or body – thoughts, sensations, moods – without grasping at the present or recoiling from the unpleasant. Simply pay attention to the flow of experience in each moment.
The principal enemy of mindfulness – or of any other meditative practice – is the deeply conditioned habit of being distracted by thoughts. The problem is not thoughts themselves but the state of thinking without knowing that we are thinking. In fact, thoughts of all kinds can be perfectly good objects of mindfulness. Most people who believe they are meditating are merely thinking with their eyes closed. By practicing mindfulness, one can awaken from the dream of discursive thought and begin to see each rising image, idea, or bit of language vanish without a trace. What remains is consciousness itself, with its attendant sights, sounds, sensations and thoughts appearing and changing in every moment.
With practice, mindfulness becomes a well-formed habit of attention, and the difference between it and ordinary thinking will become increasingly clear. Begin to feel fully immersed in each moment of your life.
Tanya Morrison has been in the Health/Wellness and Fitness Field for over two decades. She is the creator of the Busy Mama Detox which is a 12 week program that runs in January, April and September of each year. To find out more about this life changing program check out the testimonials and information at www.busymamadetox.com. Tanya also teaches many different classes at Move Your Body Studio in Bobcaygeon, www.moveyourbody.ca and has written Healthy Snacks for Kids, Get the Skinny on Skinny Jeans & Living Vibrantly with Raw Goodness – Your Guide to Juicing & Blending. You can get your PDF copy here. Recently Tanya created Gain Energy Lose Fat sessions to help people realize the importance of healthy fats in their diets and how eating fat can make you lose fat. Tanya also coaches clients on Nutritional and Lifestyle Management.
Waking UP by Sam Harris