Mark W Meusse – TGC Mindfulness an Introduction to Meditation
Mindfulness and Awareness
x Most of the time, most of us exist in mindlessness, a state of semiawareness governed by habit and inattention. Mindlessness causes us to suffer—probably more than we’re even aware. This
ordinary mental condition is not inevitable; there is a cure for it, and it’s called mindfulness, a skill that anyone can learn.
x Mindfulnessis moment-by-moment awareness; it is the process of attentively observing your experience as it unfolds. Mindfulness allows us to become keen observers of ourselves and gradually
transform the way our minds operate. With sustained practice, mindfulness can make us more attentive to our experience and less captive to the whims that drive our minds around.
x The process of mindfulness is devoid of the constant comparing and assessing that ordinarily occupies our mental functioning. When we’re being mindful, we are simply being mentally alert without the overlay of our usual commentary and conceptualizing.
x Because we’re not judging our experiences as right or wrong or good or bad, mindfulness is also characterized by a high degree of openness, receptivity, and inquisitiveness. With this open and attentive attitude, we’re able to perceive ourselves more clearly, observing the dynamics and details that often escape our notice.
x Mindfulness is not about removing thoughts from our minds—even judgmental thoughts. It is about knowing when we’re thinking and recognizing thoughts as momentary events that Àoat through our minds.
x Because mindfulness is based on the universal human faculty of awareness, we’ve all had experiences very close to mindfulness. Try to recall some time in your in life when you felt especially attentive, perhaps so rapt that your usual internal dialogue was suspended as you became fully present to your experience.
x For example, people often report a heightened sense of awareness whenever their lives are endangered. The perception of slowed time in these instances is related to the sharpening of one’s conscious activity as the mind marshals its resources to prevent itself from perishing. The lucid memories of these occasions are based on the same heightened awareness that characterizes mindfulness.
x When we practice mindfulness, we are doing so deliberately. We are taking the same mental functioning found within extraordinary experiences and purposefully developing and applying it to our ordinary lives. In short, we are taking a natural capacity that we usually use only on special occasions and extending its usage to every aspect of our existence.
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