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Mindfulness

Mindfulness is being present in your life and aware that you are in control of all the outcomes in your life. How do you find mindfulness? Meditation is a very important part of this journey. In meditation, you need to stop that chatterbox in your mind. To be present and aware of your own thoughts, by understanding that thoughts are just thoughts and allowing ourselves to let them go and clear our minds. Many use meditation to connect with God. When you clear your mind of all thoughts, you may make a connection with your higher self.

Another part of mindfulness is to realize that your happiness does not come from an outside force.

EVENT + PERCEPTION = OUTCOME

An event can never be all good or all bad. It is your perception of the event that makes it good or bad. For example, let’s say the Buffalo Bills win the Super Bowl this season. This event is not good or bad. If you are a die-hard Bills fan, it is a great and wonderful event. If you are sick of watching the Buffalo Bill in another Super Bowl and are not a fan of the Bills, well then, this is terrible news and a rotten event. The Bills winning the Super Bowl is neither good nor bad. It is just an event. It is only good or bad in the perception of the football fan’s mind.


You may say, well, there can’t be any good in some events like rape, death, or attacks like 911. These are just events, so, the outcome doesn’t have to be good nor bad. You can take events like these and find the good in them. It is all in your perception. The 911 event made this whole country unite and become one. It made many Americans realize how lucky they are to live in the land of free. Many were opened to a learning experience. It made the country stronger. When you feel you are a stronger and wiser person from surviving one of lives tragedies, then that in itself is a good thing.


An event cannot dictate if your life is good or if your life is bad. The only thing that can dictate your life is your perception of your life. If you think your life is less than fulfilling, well it must be less than fulfilling. When you think your life is a wonderful and beautiful journey, well then your life is great adventure.


Daily meditation is a great way to become more mindful. Meditation may take some time to master, don’t give up! It may take time, but the outcome is worth it. Another practice to try is to pick an event to signal yourself to become mindful by stopping what you are doing and breathe in and out deeply three times. Pick any event, when your phone rings stop and breathe. When your AC unit clicks on, stop and breathe. When your children start fighting with each other, stop and breathe. Just remember to clear your mind of all thoughts and breathe three times. If you just try this for a short time, you will feel more relaxed and calm.


To be mindful, you need to be in the present moment. It seems we spend most of our time thinking about the past and worrying or planning the future. We don’t spend enough time experiencing the here and now. Through practice, you can train yourself to stop the monkey mind or chatter box and focus on what you are currently doing. When you take the time to enjoy and relax, you may come to realize what you are missing when you are not in the present moment. When you are mindful, food tastes better, Sunday afternoons with your family may feel a little longer and more relaxing. It seems to make everything more enjoyable when your mind is full of the present.

Mindfulness is the seventh part of the noble eightfold path

Mindfulness is a part of the ancient Buddha teaching. First, we learn about the four noble truths:

Dukkha - The nature of suffering

Sanudaya - Sufferings’ origin

Nirodha - Sufferings’ cessation

Marga - The way leading to cessation of suffering

The way to learn the Marga is through the noble eightfold path:

These noble eightfold path are broken up into three different sections:

Wisdom

Ethic Conduct

Concentration

Wisdom includes:

Right view which leads to Right knowledge

Right intention which leads to Right liberation

Ethic conduct includes:

Right speech

Right action

Right livelihood

Concentration includes:

Right effort

Right mindfulness

Right concentration

By Rev. Susan Kay Coggins

Ho to Meditate


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