Concentration is a cornerstone of mindfulness practice. Your mindfulness will only be as robust as the capacity of your mind to be calm and stable. Without calmness, the mirror of mindfulness will have an agitated and choppy surface and will not be able to reflect things with any accuracy.
Whether it is in your work, or your relationships, or your food choices, or your interaction with any part of nature, or anything that you think, speak, or do, mindfulness has the power to align you with expressing your highest Self, for your personal and our collective highest good. Via mindfulness we can make the choices today, that will pre-pave the desired outcomes for all of our tomorrows. Via mindfulness we put ourselves in the flow of life, where life is no longer a series of "good" and "bad" moments, but about living with ease, contentment, wellbeing, and inner peace. Ultimately mindfulness requires action, with the first step being to make mindfulness a priority in your life.
The bones and tendons of the mind are mindfulness and awareness. Mindfulness is the mind's strength, and awareness is its flexibility. Without these abilities, we cannot function. When we drink a glass of water, drive a car, or have a conversation, we are using mindfulness and awareness.
But work is life only when done in mindfulness. otherwise, one becomes life the person "who lives as though dead." We need to light our own torch in order to carry on. But the life of each one of us is connected with the life of those around us. If we know how to live in mindfulness, if we know how to preserve and care for our own mind and heart then thanks to that our brothers and sisters will also know how to live in mindfulness.
Thech Nháº¥t Háº¡nh
Mindfulness works with continuous awareness of body, breath; feelings, thoughts, intentions. Our state of mind, our positive or negative attitude towards the world, is closely related to our experiences of happiness or suffering. Mindfulness is awareness of everything that is happening in the moment of 'Now'. Mindfulness is a self development technique that will change the focus of our mind towards happiness. Mindfulness is continuous undisturbed awareness of the present moment. Fully aware of here, and now, we pay attention to what is happening right in front of us, we set aside our mental and emotional baggage. To be mindful we have to re-train our mind.
Natasa Pantovic Nuit
The key to creating the mental space before responding is mindfulness. Mindfulness is a way of being present: paying attention to and accepting what is happening in our lives. It helps us to be aware of and step away from our automatic and habitual reactions to our everyday experiences.
In Asian languages, the word for 'mind' and the word for 'heart' are same. So if you're not hearing mindfulness in some deep way as heartfulness, you're not really understanding it. Compassion and kindness towards oneself are intrinsically woven into it. You could think of mindfulness as wise and affectionate attention.
There is one thing that, when cultivated and regularly practiced, leads to deep spiritual intention, to peace, to mindfulness and clear comprehension, to vision and knowledge, to a happy life here and now, and to the culmination of wisdom and awakening. And what is that one thing? It is mindfulness centred on the body
The Buhha was a monastic, but the practice of mindfulness in the context of any lifestyle is one of renunciation. Every moment of mindfulness renounces the reflexive, self-protecting response of the mind in favor of clear and balanced understanding. In the light of the wisdom that comes from balanced undertanding, attachment to having things be other than what they ar falls away.
Mindfulness is Buddha's word for meditation. By mindfulness he means: you should always remain alert, watchful. You should always remain present. Not a single thing should be done in a sort of sleepy state of mind. You should not move like a somnambulist, you should move with a sharp consciousness.
Mindfulness is not just a word or a discourse by the Buddha, but a meaningful state of mind. It means we have to be here now, in this very moment, and we have to know what is happening internally and externally. It means being alert to our motives and learning to change unwholesome thoughts and emotions into wholesome ones Mindfulness is a mental activity that in due course eliminates all suffering.
In the ancient Indian Pali language, the words for mind and heart are the same. And the Chinese character for mindfulness is a combination of two characters. One part means now and the other means mind or heart. So, when you hear the word mindfulness you can also consider it to mean heartfulness.
Learning to practise mindfulness greatly enhances our ability to manifest emotional intelligence and equanimity under pressure and to display calmness, empathy and adaptability when communicating with others, whether it be with co-workers, clients or the board of directors. Learning to apply mindfulness on a daily basis will significantly encourage a positive, creative and enthusiastic attitude at all levels in companies large and small.
Monks, one thing, if practiced and made much of, conduces to great thrill, great profit, great security after the toil, to mindfulness and self-possession, to the winning of knowledge and insight, to pleasant living in this very life, to the realization of the fruit of release by knowledge. What is that one thing: It is mindfulness centered on the body.
Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to being present. There is no "performance." There is just this moment. We are not trying to improve or to get anywhere else. We are not even running after special insights or visions. Nor are we forcing ourselves to be non-judgmental, calm, or relaxed. And we are certainly not promoting self-consciousness or indulging in self-preoccupation. Rather, we are simply inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intentino to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here and now. Of course, with continued practice and the right kind of firm yet gentle effort, calmness and mindfulness and equanimity develop and deepen on their own, out of your commitment to dwell in stillness and to observe without reacting and judging. Realizatinos and insights, profound experiences of stillness and joy, do come. But it would be incorrect to say that we are practicing to make these experiences happen or that having more of them is better than having fewer of them.
The Noble Eight-Fold Path is the path of living in awareness. Mindfulness is the foundation. By practicing mindfulness, you can develop concentration, which enables you to attain understanding. Thanks to right concentration, you realize right awareness, thoughts, speech, action, livelihood and effort. The understanding which develops can liberate you from every shackle of suffering and give birth to true peace and joy.
There is nothing passive about mindfulness. One might even say that it expresses a specific kind of passion-a passion for discerning what is subjectively real in every moment. It is a mode of cognition that is, above all, undistracted, accepting, and (ultimately) nonconceptual. Being mindful is not a matter of thinking more clearly about experience; it is the act of experiencing more clearly, including the arising of thoughts themselves. Mindfulness is a vivid awareness of whatever is appearing in one's mind or body-thoughts, sensations, moods-without grasping at the pleasant or recoiling from the unpleasant.
There are so many things that can provide us with peace. Next time you take a shower or a bath, I suggest you hold your big toes in mindfulness. We pay attention to everything except our toes. When we hold our toes in mindfulness and smile at them, we will find that our bodies have been very kind to us. We know that any cell in our toes can turn cancerous, but our toes have been behaving very well, avoiding that kind of problem. Yet, we have not been nice to them at all. These kinds of practices can bring us happiness.
The human brain is incredible in its capacity to heal and rewire itself. The human brain can be shaped and trained to be more resilient, calm, compassionate and alert-we can condition ourselves to be successful. Through mindfulness meditation, we can literally re-wire our brains through new experiences, which modify our neural network and our neural chemistry. Mindfulness also enhances gamma synchrony and improves the function of the human brain.
Mindful living is an art. You do not have to be a monk or living in a monastery to practice mindfulness. You can practice it anytime, while driving your car or doing housework. Driving in mindfulness will make the time in your car joyful, and it will also help you avoid accidents. You can use the red traffic light as a signal of mindfulness, reminding you to stop and enjoy your breathing. Similarly, when you do the dishes after dinner you can practice mindful breathing, so the time dish washing is pleasant and meaningful. You do not feel you have to rush. If you hurry, you waste the time of dish washing. The time you spend washing dishes and doing all your other everyday tasks is precious. It is a time for being alive. When you practice mindful living, peace will bloom during your daily activities.
Thich Nhat Háº¡nh
Dr. Kristin Neff is a researcher and professor at the University of Texas at Austin. She runs the Self-Compassion Research Lab, where she studies how we develop and practice self-compassion. According to Neff, self-compassion has three elements: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. Here are abbreviated definitions for each of these: Self-kindness: Being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism. Common humanity: Common humanity recognizes that suffering and feelings of personal inadequacy are part of the shared human experience-something we all go through rather than something that happens to 'me' alone. Mindfulness: Taking a balanced approach to negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated. We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time. Mindfulness requires that we not 'over-identify' with thoughts and feelings, so that we are caught up and swept away by negativity.
Your anger is like a flower. In the beginning you may not understand the nature of your anger, or why it has come up. But if you know how to embrace it with the energy of mindfulness, it will begin to open. You may be sitting, following your breathing, or you may be practicing walking meditation to generate the energy of mindfulness and embrace your anger. After ten or twenty minutes your anger will have to open herself to you, and suddenly, you will see the true nature of your anger. It may have arisen just because of a wrong perception or the lack of skillfulness.
Recent studies of mindfulness practices reveal that they can result in profound improvements in a range of physiological, mental, and interpersonal domains in our lives. Cardiac, endocrine, and immune functions are improved with mindfulness practices. Empathy, compassion, and interpersonal sensivity seem to be improved. People who come to develop the capacity to pay attention in the present moment without grasping on to their inevitable judgments also develop a deeper sense of well-being and what can be considered a form of mental coherence.
Daniel J. Siegel