I have been reading about mindfulness for over 10 years. And I have implemented learning how to live in the moment. Teaching yourself how to be your observer self is the single most important thing I have ever learned.
For today, I am starting a study of mindfulness by reposting an article about Jon Kabat-Zinn who has been resposible for making America realize the practical applications of giving up stress and using our energy in a more positive way. His work is mainly done at the center he created–Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
An article by Frank Lipman includes the 7 essentials of mindfulness practice:
Nearly twenty years ago, I did a workshop with Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., whose first book “Full Catastrophe Living” and overall teachings have had a lasting influence on me. This book is a classic on the topic of mindfulness and it has played a spiritual role in both bringing this practice into the Integrative Medicine World as well as in developing the method we teach our patients on how to deal with stress.
I would like to share with you the Seven Essentials of Mindfulness Practice, adapted from this great book.
Be an impartial witness to your experience. Observing without judging helps you see what is on your mind without editing or intellectualizing it, or getting lost in your thoughts.
No goal other than to be yourself. It is not about achieving bliss, relaxation or anything else.
A willingness to see things the way they are. By fully accepting what each moment offers, you are able to experience life much more completely.
Of thoughts, ideas, things, events, desires, views, hopes and experiences, both pleasant and unpleasant. Allowing things to be as they are, without getting caught up in our attachment to or rejection of them. It means to give up resisting or struggling and allowing things to be as they are. Watching your breath as it goes in and out is an excellent starting place for this practice of letting go.
Free of expectations from past experience. Remove the attachment of the past and just be. Watch the moments unfold, with no agenda other than to be fully present. Use the breath as an anchor to tether your attention to the present moment.
Remembering that things must unfold in their own time. An alternative to the mind’s restlessness and impatience. Not letting our anxieties and desire for certain results dominate the quality of the moment.
In yourself and your feelings. A feeling of confidence that things can unfold within a dependable framework that embodies order and integrity.
“The greatest hunger in life is not for food, money, success, status, security, sex, or even love from the opposite sex. Time and again people have achieved all these things and wound up still feeling dissatisfied- indeed, often more dissatisfied than when they began.
The deepest hunger in life is a secret that is revealed only when a person is willing to unlock a hidden part of the self. In the ancient traditions of wisdom, this quest has been likened to diving for the most precious pearl in existence, a poetic way of saying that you have to swim far out beyond shallow waters, plunge deep into yourself, and search patiently until the pearl beyond price is found.
The pearl is also called essence, the breath of god, the water of life…labels for what we, in our more prosaic scientific age, would simply call TRANSFORMATION.”
Transformational change happens immediately. I call my change “the moment that changed my life”. My change involved my accepting a personal God as my life position. Every day since then (Jan. 1977), I have tried to the best of my ability to find a way of responding to Him. This current journey has been a 3 year search for what it is I am to be responding to. It feels like a Hansel and Gretel experience as I find little crumbs of “leads” propelling me forward. My God is an illusive one who fills my soul with joy from time to time and I want more.
From Broken Brain: Brilliant Mind: “Seeing the Light Ahead”:
I just talked to a friend of mine who is totally stoked about some self-improvement work they’re going to be doing in about a month or so. They are so excited, it’s wild to see — this is someone who has seemed to me to be almost clinically depressed. They just can’t seem to get their act together, and they always have an excuse for why things didn’t work out for them. Their energy tends to be low, unless there are lots of people around to lift their spirits.
Then, they come across this intensive workshop that’s being held for several days in a row, a couple of states away… it’s expensive, and the don’t really have the money… but they’ve heard incredible things about it from friends who once did it, and they’re doing what they can to get the money together and go.
They’re going. They’re just going. They’re not sure how — they need to get plane tickets and find transportation to the venue from the airport… they have mobility issues, so it’s not easy for them to hoof it around… and they’re starting to have second thoughts and pretty intense dreams… but they’re going.
They’ve committed. They’re going to make it happen. No matter what.
And the change in them is pretty amazing. Because this person who tends to be a bit like Eyore in Winnie the Pooh, is all of a sudden full of life and hope. They can see the light ahead, and for the first time in a long time, they can imagine a future where they don’t have to be held back by their demons, their ghosts, and the fears that constantly dog them.
And it’s a great way to close out the week. Because just hearing how happy and how determined — and how realistic — they are, really lifts my own spirits.
From Just Be Real: “Morph”:
There is a reason why God made it not possible for us to observe with the naked eye what goes on inside a cocoon of a caterpillar ready to metamorph. There is a transformation going on where the caterpillar liquefies and probably not a appetizing sight to witness into the beautiful butterfly. (Sort of like when the Holy Spirit does emotional surgery on our spiritual heart, at times it is not a pretty sight and is a private healing between the Spirit and the individual.)
There is a precise time frame for the transformation of the caterpillar into the butterfly where it is a struggle but one that ‘must not’ be tampered with, unless we end up killing the caterpillar in its process to freedom.
Same goes with there is a precise time frame for each of us in our healing to freedom. We cannot rush the process nor tamper. Even though our transformation may take years longer to morph than an average butterfly…. it will be certainly worth the wait in the end.