Monday, March 06, 2006

About mindfulness

Well, here's a UK website I just found courtesy of my friend, Larry. It's called, "Centre For Mindfulness Research And Practice". Here's what they have to say about mindfulness:

What is ‘mindfulness’ and how can it help?

Mindfulness is the development of the ability to pay deliberate attention to our experience from moment to moment, to what is going on in our mind, body and day to day life and doing this without judgement.

Becoming more aware of our thoughts, feelings and sensations may not sound like an obviously helpful thing to do, however learning to do this in a way that suspends judgement and self criticism can have surprising results. Many people report finding inner strengths and resources that help them make wise decisions about their health and life in general.

Most of us frequently find ourselves being ‘swept away’ by the current of thoughts and feelings, worries, pressures, responsibilities and just wanting things to be different from how they are right now. This can be particularly powerful when we are faced with pain, difficulties and illness that defy all our attempts to find a solution or to feel better. Feeling stuck in this way can be draining. Mindfulness can help us to work directly with the struggle we sometimes have in relating to life’s experience and in doing so can dramatically improve the quality of our life.

I really like the "pay deliberate attention" part of the definition of mindfulness. That's exactly what we learn to do when we meditate. In fact, that is the function of the meditative support (i.e. breath, mantra, sound) - to give us something toward which to direct our "deliberate attention" so that we will have a reference point for what our mind is up to at any given moment. And I also really like the final point - that mindfulness allows us to work directly with our struggle no matter what that's about. It's true and the benefits we experience as a result are real and powerful. This is how to get liberated and stay liberated in a truly reliable way.

No comments:

Post a Comment

New policy: Anonymous posts must be signed or they will be deleted. Pick a name, any name (it could be Paperclip or Doorknob), but identify yourself in some way. Thank you.