Wishing you and yours a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving Holiday
Gratitude – a feeling of thankfulness or appreciation.
Mindfulness – paying attention to the present moment.
I wanted to share a few takeaways from a recent Mindfulness Lecture I attended featuring Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, hosted by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing. It seems especially appropriate to share some of those highlights during this week’s Thanksgiving Holiday here in the U.S.
Over 2,000 people were in attendance at this Mindfulness lecture. 10 or even 5 years ago there would not have been a full auditorium.
There is great potential in this mindfulness movement; the time is now.
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Henry David Thoreau
How many moments do we let slip away?
We can’t stop breathing. We can’t stop our heart beating. In a very real way, there’s no end to a mindfulness practice. Breathing is just one way to drop into the fleeting, present moment, as is noticing the beating of your heart. It’s about the awareness that is an intrinsic part of our being.
We can test our mindfulness throughout the day by asking 3 questions:
1. What am I doing in this moment?
2. Is my mind on what I’m doing?
3. Am I happy in this moment?
Most people polled were doing things halfheartedly; they weren’t fully engaged. If you can’t be present for yourself how can you be present for another, take in the world or make wise decisions? It’s not a luxury to create Mindfulness. It’s an old tradition that is the most sophisticated psychology on the planet.
The more UnPresent you are, the more UnHappy you are.
Now that we’re attached to our mobile devices we’ve become perpetually addicted, it’s like we always want to be somewhere else. A supercomputer in our purse or pocket, what a concept! Rather than being mindful we’re looking for that next adrenaline or dopamine hit that seems so satisfying, yet is fleeting. Having our devices so accessible destroys the depths of conversation because no one is being present.
Your creativity, intuition and imagination are all sitting right inside the multi-dimension of right now. If we were trained in Mindfulness in kindergarten we would be cultivating a deep awareness that’s much deeper than thinking. Inside each of us is vast open heartedness, spaciousness – sharing the same space of the world.
It’s simple, not easy. Exercise the muscle.
Tomorrow morning when you wake up, take a few extra moments in bed lying down and see if you’re fully awake. Let your mind and your attention scan your body from head into your toes and heels and feel your body being breathed. Rest in awareness, an awareness that’s so big and so spacious, it’s wakefulness. These are perfect moments to linger and be fully awake before you get out of bed.
A real mindfulness practice is how you move throughout your day from moment to moment; full presence with others at home and at work. You can have thoughts, just don’t get so attached to them.
We are completely connected with the planet, cycles, and with each other. We are beginning to transfer science from mind/body to larger society and planetary levels. We are these miraculous human beings who don’t know it yet. Find wise ways of being in touch.
Just be present. Just be with and love rather than fix or judge.
There is major research and programs in 4 areas:
4. Criminal Justice.
We need a thousand different ways to address issues currently happening in our society. Consider practicing mindfulness rather than mindlessness.
Let’s not miss out on the most important dimensions of our own life.