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In the Present: Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. As they say, the present is a gift. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. Do you find that time passes by without your awareness? Or do you strive to notice and appreciate each moment without dwelling on the past or worrying about the future? What techniques can you adopt that will help you say in the moment, appreciating the present.
Enlightenment: Have you experienced a state of being in which greed, hatred and delusion has been conquered or absent from your mind? This can be a very powerful state. Have you ever been able to rise above something that was holding you down or back and see it in a very different way? Is it something anyone can achieve, or do you think you need to be a spiritual master to do so? Do you know anyone who demonstrates an enlightened approach to life?
Meditation and Breathing: Sitting and concentrating only on one breath in, one breath out can help calm your nerves and center your thoughts. Breathing from your belly rather than from your chest and focusing on the sound and rhythm of your breath, especially when you’re upset, can have a calming effect and help you stay grounded in the present moment. Have you meditated? Do you think it’s a meaningful way of connecting with your spirit, or poppycock?
Awareness: In the past twenty years or so we’ve seen a proliferation of ribbons’ for causes, walk-a-thons and fundraising events for every kind of disease and disaster. Is there a cause that feels near and dear to your heart? Do you volunteer, walk, etc? How do you feel when friends and family ask you to participate in causes that matter to them?
Self-aware: How good are you at taking care of your own needs and looking out for yourself? Can you create boundaries in relationships, get enough sleep to feel good and generally take care of yourself. When you take care of yourself are you proud, or do you sometimes feel guilty that others may be let down?
There is no greater sorrow
Than to be mindful of the happy time
Be mild with the mild, shrewd with the crafty, confiding to the honest, rough to the ruffian, and a thunderbolt to the liar. But in all this, never be unmindful of your own dignity.
Disassociating, mindfulness, transcendence-whatever the label-it's a sort of loophole in our contract with reality, a form of self-rescue.
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
The modern age has been characterized by a Promethean spirit, a restless energy that preys on speed records and shortcuts, unmindful of the past, uncaring of the future, existing only for the moment and the quick fix. The earthly rhythms that characterize a more pastoral way of life have been shunted aside to make room for the fast track of an urbanized existence. Lost in a sea of perpetual technological transition, modern man and woman find themselves increasingly alienated from the ecological choreography of the planet.
Generosity is another quality which, like patience, letting go, non-judging, and trust, provides a solid foundation for mindfulness practice. You might experiment with using the cultivation of generosity as a vehicle for deep self-observation and inquiry as well as an exercise in giving. A good place to start is with yourself. See if you can give yourself gifts that may be true blessings, such as self-acceptance, or some time each day with no purpose. Practice feeling deserving enough to accept these gifts without obligation-to simply receive from yourself, and from the universe.
Jon Kabat Zinn
On life's journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life, nothing can destroy him.
We can learn to rejoice in even the smallest blessings our life holds. It is easy to miss our own good fortune; often happiness comes in ways we don't even notice. It's like a cartoon I saw of an astonished-looking man saying, 'What was that?' The caption below read, 'Bob experiences a moment of well-being.' The ordinariness of our good fortune can make it hard to catch.
The key is to be here, fully connected with the moment, paying attention to the details of ordinary life. By taking care of ordinary things - our pots and pans, our clothing, our teeth - we rejoice in them. When we scrub a vegetable or brush our hair, we are expressing appreciation: friendships toward ourselves and toward the living quality that is found in everything. This combination of mindfulness and appreciation connects us fully with reality and brings us joy.
You are ninety-eight cents' worth of cosmic star dust floating at the obscure edge of an ordinary galaxy, and yet you are the center of your own world; to friends and family, you may be precious beyond all worth. On one day, humanity seems the apex of all things beautiful, generous, mindful; another day, it seems a stupid beast.
Mindful meditation has been discovered to foster the ability to inhibit those very quick emotional impulses.
A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the 'why' for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any 'how.'
But actions originally prompted by conscious intelligence may grow so automatic by dint of habit as to be apparently unconsciously performed. Standing, walking, buttoning and unbuttoning, piano-playing, talking, even saying one's prayers, may be done when the mind is absorbed in other things. The performances of animal instinct seem semi-automatic, and the reflex acts of self-preservation certainly are so. Yet they resemble intelligent acts in bringing about the same ends at which the animals' consciousness, on other occasions, deliberately aims.
It is only through your conscious mind that you can reach the subconscious. Your conscious mind is the porter at the door, the watchman at the gate. It is to the conscious mind that the subconscious looks for all its impressions.
This is how change happens, though. It is a relay race, and we're very conscious of that, that our job really is to do our part of the race, and then we pass it on, and then someone picks it up, and it keeps going. And that is how it is. And we can do this, as a planet, with the consciousness that we may not get it, you know, today, but there's always a tomorrow.
Few is the number who think with their own minds and feel with their own hearts.
Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will follow you, as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox. Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a pure mind, happiness will follow you, as a shadow clings to a form.
Intuition and concepts constitute ... the elements of all our knowledge, so that neither concepts without an intuition in some way corresponding to them, nor intuition without concepts, can yield knowledge.
What I am actually saying is that we need to be willing to let our intuition guide us, and then be willing to follow that guidance directly and fearlessly.
For whereas the mind works in possibilities, the intuitions work in actualities, and what you intuitively desire, that is possible to you. Whereas what you mentally or "consciously" desire is nine times out of ten impossible; hitch your wagon to star, or you will just stay where you are.
D. H. Lawrence
Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestioned ability of a man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.
Henry David Thoreau
Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.
I think wholeness comes from living your life consciously during the day and then exploring your inner life or unconscious at night.
A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world. Everyone you meet is your mirror.
Ken Keyes Jr.
Inspiration may be a form of superconsciousness, or perhaps of subconsciousness - I wouldn't know. But I am sure it is the antithesis of self- consciousness.
Aaron Copland (1900 - 1990)
Dreams are postcards from our subconscious, inner self to outer self, right brain trying to cross that moat to the left. Too often they come back unread: "return to sender, addressee unknown." That's a shame because it's a whole other world out there--or in here depending on your point of view.
Dennis Koenig and Jordan Budde
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
That which you call your soul or spirit is your consciousness, and that which you call 'free will' is your mind's freedom to think or not, the only will you have, your only freedom, the choice that controls all the choices you make and determines your life and your character.
The real questions are the ones that obtrude upon your consciousness whether you like it or not, the ones that make your mind start vibrating like a jackhammer, the ones that you "come to terms with" only to discover that they are still there. The real questions refuse to be placated. They barge into your life at the times when it seems most important for them to stay away. They are the questions asked most frequently and answered most inadequately, the ones that reveal their true natures slowly, reluctantly, most often against your will.
Every extension of knowledge arises from making the conscious the unconscious.
A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
The birthplace of success for each person is in his Inner-Consciousness. The Inner-Consciousness will use whatever it is given. If constructive thoughts are planted positive outcomes will be the result. Plant the seeds of failure and failure will follow. And since the only real freedom a person has is the choice of what thoughts he will feed to his Inner-Consciousness he is totally responsible for the outcomes he gets.
In studying the history of the human mind one is impressed again and again by the fact that the growth of the mind is the widening of the range of consciousness, and that each step forward has been a most painful and laborious achievement. One could almost say that nothing is more hateful to man than to give up even a particle of his unconsciousness. Ask those who have tried to introduce a new idea!