Mindful Mondays: Meditations on Mindfulness

Mindfulness is guiding your awareness to the present moment in order to experience the fullness of life.

Are you feeling the pressure of what needs to get done today?  Been thinking about what you have to accomplish or what will happen in 2016?  Do you feel rushed to read this email so you can get to the next task at hand?

Our minds can be very future-oriented during this time of year with all of our New Year's resolutions, goals, and to do’s.  Future-oriented thinking is helpful in moving us forward towards vision, expansion, and accomplishment, but it can also trigger fear, worry, and sometimes despair. Future-oriented thinking can quickly swallow up the experienceof life, which can only be felt in the present moment. 

Take the pressure off and marinate in the present moment.  Breath, bring your awareness to what you are doing in this moment, and take note of what you notice or feel.  That is your beautiful life pulsating and breathing under all of those goals, tasks, and to do’s.  Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that being mindful doesn’t mean putting our task aside, it means being fully present in the task.  I thank our Buddhist brothers and sisters for this wisdom ofmindfulness as a spiritual practice. 

Thich Nhat Hanh on mindfulness from The Miracle of Mindfulness:

“If while washing the dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not ‘washing the dishes to wash the dishes.’  What’s more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes.  In fact we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink.  If we can’t wash the dishes, the chances are we won’t be able to drink our tea either.  While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking about other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands.  Thus we are sucked away into the future---and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life.”