- This topic has 12 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 6 years, 6 months ago by Anonymous.
May 24, 2017 at 1:37 pm #150558
First I want to extend my sadness, and love, to all who were impacted by the recent disaster in England. If I could, I would take the burden of pain from all who have suffered.
I am sure my question has been presented before, but being relatively new to this site I am not sure where to search for it so I am reaching out to all. I am trying to fully embrace mindfulness and I am not sure if it is my “old self” getting in the way of understanding this. I think it would help me if I fully understand what it is. And to use the word “is” implies an absolute but I think it’s not an absolute, perhaps it is, I don’t know. Anyway what to do? how to do it? How do I recognize that I am not the right path to understanding what it is and how to achieve it? It seems elusive but perhaps it is so simple to achieve that the way is right in front of me and so it just appears elusive.
PearceMay 24, 2017 at 9:08 pm #150614AnonymousGuest
You wrote that you are “trying to fully embrace mindfulness”- you clearly see a great value in mindfulness.
Before attempting to answer your questions, can you answer: what does mindfulness mean to you; what is it that you value about it?
anitaMay 25, 2017 at 12:38 am #150630luckyfoxParticipant
From my outside view on your text, it would appear you have answered your own question.
1. The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
2. A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Mindfulness for me is never more than simply being aware or concious of your present state. By recognising the old self habits, you are mindful of this. Instead of my fears of the past or anxiety of the future I bring awareness back to the present and everything else is lessons to help me.
It’s like if you practice deep breathing and the mind monkey starts reminding you to pay the gas bill. I make a mental note of it’s importance and let it go so I can focus back to my breathing.
Hope this helps.May 25, 2017 at 9:50 am #150666
Luckyfox thank you for your thoughts…I have taken your perspective and by doing so I am able to recognize even more the simplicity of mindfulness. For me to even think that there is more to it is in itself a distraction in it’s simplest form. I am grateful to you for your help.May 25, 2017 at 10:04 am #150668
Anita thank you for your thoughts…As I told another person who responded to my question, I think that in my thinking there is more to mindfulness, that in itself is a distraction which is not needed. From what my experience teaches me on a daily basis, mindfulness is being present in the here and now and not incorporating once upon a time experiences into the here and now. It is a focus on what is-I think. The value I continue to learn from being mindful is that I am not living in the past. Doing so, like I said, is a distraction from the here and now. Once upon a time is exactly that, once upon a time. Recently, while thinking about this, I came to realize that life is the classroom and experience is the teacher. The value I take away from mindfulness is that I truly get to embrace now and all the amazing things it has to give. The value in it liberates me from distractions and allows me to be more aware of those things that are truly important-the peace, love, and happiness that life has to offer. I am grateful for your thoughts.May 29, 2017 at 7:22 am #151060
Anita I do not know how to post this question as a thread so I will ask here. Can I recommend a book for you and your members on this site?
PearceMay 29, 2017 at 8:30 am #151074AnonymousGuest
I didn’t know about your last two posts above until a little while ago, this morning.
In your first of these two posts you wrote: “mindfulness is being present in the here and now and not incorporating once upon a time experiences into the here and now”- it is about focusing on the here-and-now. Here is a misunderstanding I had in the past: I wrongly thought that it was possible to not think about the past and future on a regular basis. What I learned is that the nature of our brain is such that it will go into the past again and again, no matter our focus and intent. The brain, in its nature, visits and evaluates the past so to learn from it and function better in the future. And so, it naturally goes into the future as well, so to practice better functioning in the future.
The point in mindfulness is not to get lost in ineffective, prolonged ruminations, living in the past -or the future- with minimal presence in the present (and therefore minimal learning from the past). My aim is to visit the past (a minute ago or many years ago) just long enough to learn or remind myself what I need to learn from it.
So as you think of the past, you did not fail in the practice of mindfulness, as long as you don’t get lost in the past.
After all, the past is presently imprinted in our brains, and often it gets triggered, in the present. This is part of mindfulness: notice past emotional experiences being triggered in the present.
Regarding your second post: I am not aware of any rule or regulation here that prohibits recommending a book. If you recommend a book, it will be helpful to me if you share what it is you liked about the book and how it helped you.
anitaMay 29, 2017 at 10:23 am #151098ChrisParticipant
I see mindfulness as keeping my attention primarily on what is going on right now at this very instant. So if i were being completely mindful right now, I would have my attention fully on what I am typing, and my attention fully on the process of trying to figure out what I wish to say, and how I wish to say it. I may also be aware of the sensations within my body right now, the current mood I’m experiencing, and the sensations of the keyboard against my fingers.
I see day to day mindfulness as throughout most of the day having my attention fully on what I am doing, and what is in front of me. Some examples of how I fail to be mindful throughout the day include getting lost in my thoughts (a big obstacle I am working on right now in my life), getting lost in worry, and getting lost in anxiety. When I lose my mindfulness such as losing myself in my thoughts, most of the time I would rather be focusing on what is right in front of me. I may be talking to my girlfriend, when suddenly a thought of worry will appear in my mind and my instant reflex will be to start thinking about that worry and how to solve the problem that the worry brought up. The whole time I’m dwelling on this worry I have lost all attention to what my girlfriend was talking about, and deep down I find listening attentively to the one I love and what she has to say is much more important than dwelling on some worry that I probably can’t fix anyways, or a worry that will probably work itself out in the end.
I also find mindfulness to be a state of being aware of your thoughts, emotions, and sensations; to be aware of what you are going through and doing. These things tend to fall into the background, and you can build habits of suppressing certain thoughts and emotions without even realizing it. We have so many habits, from what we do throughout the day to how our mind thinks, and becoming aware of these helps us to notice which ones are actually unhealthy. As an example I’ve started to notice that on weekends I’ll lay in bed, scanning through apps on my phone trying to find some entertainment, but ultimately being bored, and this will consume up to 2 to 3 hours. Yesterday I caught myself and decided instead to start my day and get out of bed early, because lounging on my phone wasn’t bringing me satisfaction. I ended up having a great day and packing more into it than I would have if I wasted that time perusing meaningless posts on reddit, twitter, instagram, and facebook.
I have found the best way to practice and reinforce mindfulness is through mindful meditation. A simple beginner meditation for this is just sitting down, and focusing on your breath for a set amount of time, and every time you lose focus of your breath, gently bringing your attention back to the breath. This process of returning your awareness to your breath reinforces that mental behavior and I’ve noticed throughout my day to day life I’ll start going down a worrysome thought spiral and then habitually bring my attention out of it and to my breath. If you do wish to try this practice I recommend starting with just 5 minute sessions every day and slowly increasing the time as you see fit. I’ve found that consistency is one of the most important things to work on. Just making sure each day you do a session of meditation.
I wish you the best and hope I helped some 🙂
ChrisMay 30, 2017 at 9:37 am #151238
Anita your answer to my question is profound yet simple and the content of your answer is a HUGE asset for me that surely will help. Yesterday I took your advice and here is what happened. I decided to lay down for 20 minutes and relax my body and mind. I practiced my breathing exercises. At some point, I don’t know when that was, I went into what I call my trance dance. I felt that my body was no longer present. As I began to notice this, it felt like the distance between my fingers were miles apart. Then I recall asking myself, when was the last time I took a breath? Anita I cannot describe the peacefulness I felt. Even better, when I decided to “wake up” and get my day going, it was 1 1/2 hours later! When I opened my eyes, colors were more vivid, sound was more clear and gentle, feeling was more defined for lack of a better word. I swear you are not of this world Anita. In a good way. Thank you from my heart and soul.
The book, if you have not already read it, that I highly recommend is called Power vs Force by Davis Hawkins. When I read it I wondered why it took me seemingly forever to find it. This book explores the true nature of power, which comes purely from the spirit, in the purest form. Force, on the other hand, is what we believe to be equal to power, which is not true. It is power over people. One person has said, and I wholeheartedly agree, that force is on a material level, and is so constantly needed to be justified and backed up with rhetoric. Power never needs justification. Anita I have had this book for about 10 years and I read it over and over and each time it is like it is a new book. It has helped me IMMENSELY in that it has, and continues to recalibrate my mind and spirit in how I look at things and my life as well. I highly recommend reading it to you and all members here.
Thank you for your time and thoughts. I appreciate them immensely.
PearceMay 30, 2017 at 10:22 am #151242AnonymousGuest
Thank you for your kind words! I am glad you liked my answer and that you had such a profound, meaningful experience yesterday. Vivid colors, I like that.
Power vs Force by Davis Hawkins: Force is power-over-people, you wrote. I think as the Win-Lose concept in interactions and relationships between people: the one with the force Wins and the other (or others) Lose. Power, on the other hand, is what I think of as the Win-Win concept.
I googled Davis Hawkins (did not know about him before) and found this quote from Power vs Force: “Living things all react to what is life-supportive and what is not; this is the fundamental mechanism of survival. Inherent in all life forms is the capacity to detect change and react correctively” – I learn a lot from nature. We, humans, are part of nature and the rules of nature apply to us.
I found his following quotes related very much to the topic of your thread, Mindfulness (from his book Letting go: The Pathway to Surrender): “Enlightenment is not something that occurs in the future, after 50 years of sitting cross-legged and saying “OM.” It is right here, in this instant… So every single moment is dissolving as it arises. Let go of anticipating the next moment, trying to control it, trying to hang on to the moment that has just passed…
And: “Escape. Escape is the avoidance of feelings through diversion. This avoidance is the backbone of the entertainment and liquor industries, and also the route of the workaholic. Escapism and avoidance of inner awareness… People are desperate to stay unconscious… People are terrified of facing themselves. They dread even a moment of aloneness. Thus the constant frantic activities: the endless socializing, talking, texting, reading, music playing, working, traveling, sightseeing, shopping, overeating, gambling, movie-going, pill-taking, drug-using, and cocktail-partying. Many of the foregoing mechanisms of escape are faulty, stressful, and ineffective.”
Thank you for sharing.
anitaMay 30, 2017 at 10:55 am #151244AnonymousGuest
… I was mindful about my reaction to the last quote above, by the author: after submitting I felt some distress over that quote and tried to figure out why, so I will figure it out as I type:
he wrote: “People are desperate to stay unconscious… People are terrified of facing themselves.”- there is a condescending attitude (patronizing superiority) here, as I read it, by the writer. “People are desperate… terrified…” As if the author is not sometimes desperate, terrified. As if distracting oneself (not in unhealthy ways, I agree) is unenlightened… as if, perhaps, it was possible to be aware all the time.
We all get desperate at times, we all get terrified and we all need distractions. No one, I believe, can be aware of their feelings, and sensations all the time, neither should we aim for that. We all need breaks, this is why we sleep and this is why we need sometimes to listen to music, to watch a movie, to enjoy cake… in moderation.
anitaMay 30, 2017 at 2:56 pm #151270
The comments that you quoted by him did rub me the wrong way. When I go out too eat, say a dinner, I pick out the things I don’t like, like the broccoli. Ew. I look at what he, and many other authors say of course, as sort of a meal-I pick out what I don’t like. It almost always doesn’t diminish the point(s) to be made. However, having said that, if those sort of comments are a common denominator, then I take a more questionable view. I agree completely with you, that no one can be aware of their feelings all the time, nor should we. So true.
Thank you for your thoughts. As always they are most helpful and reassuring.
PearceMay 30, 2017 at 8:13 pm #151282AnonymousGuest
I like your Broccoli Reading Strategy, and your reasoning otherwise. I am so glad you are on this website, looking forward to read more from you.