Hello my fellow human Beings:
In one of her podcasts, “Metta Hour with Sharon Salzberg”, this renowned loving-kindness meditation teacher reminds us to be mindful of whatever arises. She says:
“Mindfulness doesn’t take the shape of what it is watching. … We can be mindful of joy, we can be mindful of pain, we can be mindful of grief.”
This is an excellent reminder for our mindfulness meditation practice. We don’t need to wait for just those tranquil, peaceful moments to be mindful. We can be mindful of whatever is arising for us in this moment.
Instead of wasting energy replaying the past or worrying about the future, we can focus our energy on concentrating on the present moment – being mindful of the present moment.
Our breath awareness practice can help strengthen our ability to be mindful of, and centred in, the present moment. To do so, remember to:
- choose an object of awareness – our breath (a very portable tool);
- settle our attention on this object in a balanced way; and
- when our minds wander (go everywhere), just bring our focus back to our breath without judgement.
The key is not to judge, criticize or berate ourselves when our minds wander. (It is a fact, our minds will wander. Sometimes it will be after two breaths, at other times after 10 or 20 breaths. Whether we’ve just begun meditating or we’ve been meditating for decades, our minds will wander, so just accept that reality.) What is important in developing our practice, and in being more mindful in life, is that when we recognize that our mind has wander, we continue to bring our focus gently back to our breath.
So when you realize that your mind has wandered, whether it is because a pleasant or an unpleasant thought has arisen, just be aware that your mind has wandered (or as Sharon says just note “not breath”) and without judgement, let the thought go, and return your attention back to focus on your breath. This will help build your mindfulness muscle.
For that reason, I encourage you this week, to find time daily to be still, to RELAX, to aim your attention and connect with your breath. (Don’t worry about the next 100 breaths, just focus on the next breath, and then the next breath, and …) In this way, we can learn to be mindful of whatever arises, and take steps on the path to leading an abundant life.
May you all be happy.
May you all be peaceful.
May you all live with ease.
May you all be free from suffering.