Mindfulness?

… is a state of non-mind. Some of the qualities experienced in that state are an increased awareness of sound, sight, internal and external body senses, current emotions and the breath. Bringing even a drop of mindfulness to everyday stresses is transformative because it increases heightened senses and mental spaciousness which provides room for empathy (including for yourself) as one source of equanimous decision-making. There are millions of ways to attain moments of mindfulness – by anyone. Higher frequencies of mindfulness can become attained through skill development which is traditionally obtained by removing external stimuli (like sitting in a quiet room) called “meditation” or “sitting”. As skills grow and strengthen, meditators can bring their skills into their active lives.  Just like music and medicine, mindfulness takes  practice!

Like most musical forms, the meditation experience follows a basic formal shape of statement, conflict, development and return. The meditation practice tradition I love most comes from Thich Naht Han and traditional Vipassana (Insight) Buddhism, where a bowl-shaped bell begins and ends the sitting. The bell rings a long time, inviting us to focus on the sound and following it into silence. “Joy of Mindfulness” begins with the sound of  a bell, too, and follows a typical meditation experience:  2)Intention/breath | 3): Joy | 4) Observing Desires and Attachments | 5) Return to breath :|| and ends with the bell.

 

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