“The moment you realize you are not present, you are present. Whenever you are able to observe your mind, you are no longer trapped in it. Another factor has come in, something that is not of the mind: the witnessing presence.” - Eckhart Tolle
You only truly evolve by b eing present in the moment. That is where you need to be - not the future, not the past - the present.
“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.” - Eckhart Tolle
We are always free to chose how we respond to any situation. No one but you can make that decision.
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor Frankl
Accepting your present reality seems to be a pretty straightforward concept, but it proves to be very challenging in practice. How often do you fight what is already done or try to change what has already happened? All the time. We very rarely live in the now as if it were what we chose. I think I struggle with this every day. If I could successfully do this, consider how easy life would be, how simple forgiveness would be, and how much more enjoyable my outlook would be.
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” – Eckhart Tolle
I can see where this concept is hard to internalize. We have all become so focused on improvement and climbing the ladder that the idea of doing something without that intention is very challenging.
“Meditation is the only intentional, systematic human activity which at bottom is about not trying to improve yourself or get anywhere else, but simply to realize where you already are.” Jon Kabat-Zinn
The practice of meditation and mindfulness is not an opportunity to escape your life or get away from stress. Rather meditation allows you an opportunity to see things as they really are rather than clouded by emotions and other noise. With clear vision, better reasoning and decisions can be made.
“Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
Live each and every day like it may be your last. Pay attention to everyone and everything that is important to you. You’ll never regret it.
“It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up – that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.” - Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
We are always trying to get some where other than where we are - a better job, a bigger house, more money, etc. We are very rarely happy to be where we are and this is a constant source of stress.
“The standard way of reducing stress in our culture is to put as much energy as possible into trying to arrive at a moment that matches our preferences. This ensures that we feel some level of stress until we get there (assuming we ever will) and worse, it makes the present moment into an unacceptable place to be.” David Cain
I find myself purposefully taking time to step back and really focus on what is going on around me, my part in it, and what it means. This helpsme stay present, make better decisions, and focus more consistently.
“Practicing a mindful moment in the middle of the day, helps to bring you back to center, reset, and move into the rest of your day with greater clarity and focus.” — Christine Agro
You need to find time to engange in your practice when you can focus and find calmness. WIthout that, things will seem off, agitated and disjointed.
“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.” Jon Kabat-Zinn
Your thoughts and emotions block your vision from seeing the reality of what is in front of you. It’s like looking at everything with tinted glasses. You don’t see the real colors of life until you take the glasses off.
“Mindfulness clears the windshield of the mind so that we can see things as they really are.” — Travis Eliot
Every moment can be powerful and meaningful if you allow it to be. For this to happen, you need to be present for it and part of it. Everything becomes more meaningful when you are truly present at the moment it is happening.
“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” - Jon Kabat-Zinn
I’ve lost my way a bit lately in my minduflness journey. I am looking forward to getting back on track.
“Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.” - Buddha
Anxiety and stress often stem not from what is happening at the moment, but what you perceive could happen in the future. By focusing on the current moment, you can reduce the stress and anxiety of what may never be.
“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” - Amit Ray
Try to like who you are today.
“Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.” - Pema Chödrön
Being present and part of the lives of those we love is the single best way to show them that we love them. Being present is better than any gift money can buy. Your family won’t remember the toy or necklace you gave them, but they will remember the time you spent together.
“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” - Thich Nhat Hanh
Lying to yourself is easy. Being honest with where you are and where you can improve is hard. Do hard things. Be brave enough to be honest with yourself.
“The essence of bravery is being without self-deception.” Pema Chödrön
This quote struck me today. All you have is right now. Yesterday is gone and you can do nothing about what is done. Focus on the now.
“Now is the future that you promised yourself last year, last month, last week. Now is the only moment you’ll ever really have. Mindfulness is about waking up to this.” – Mark Williams
I’m spending a bit of time digging into the practice of minduflenss and uncovering some wise words. Today, the words of Louis L’Amour hit home. It got me thinking a bit. How often do we really enjoy what we are doing in the moment we are doing it? Focus on now, let the past go and the future happen.
“Few of us ever live in the present. We are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone.” Louis L’Amour
“Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.” - Jon Kabat-Zinn
“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
I saw someone today post on social media that they completed the Headspace 365 pack in 365 days. They didn’t miss a single day. That’s quite an accomplishment. It’s not always easy to find the time or motivation to get after it everyday. I try to do something each day, even if it is just a shorter session. I do what I can and I am happy with that.
I’m pretty sure everyone has anxiety and stress at some point in their life. Most normal people deal with these things daily for various reasons, some big, some small. Mindfulness can help you better understand how stress and anxiety impact you and move you to have a better relationship with them. Mindfulness will not remove the stress, nor will it eliminate your anxiety, but it can help you better understand how to deal with them when they arise.
Sometimes when I’m meditating, I find myself trying to force the direction of my thoughts. I get frustrated with too many ideas or getting lost in a cloud for longer than I feel I should. This is the opposite of mindfulness. This is thinking. Instead of just allowing things to come and go as they do, I too often try to structure things the way I want them. Next week, I will try and focus on keeping a very open mind and allowing my mind to be free. I am going to focus on the breath but also realize that thoughts will come and go.