“Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment. It is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in every moment of daily life. To be mindful is to be truly alive, present and at one with those around you and with what you are doing. We bring our body and mind into harmony while we wash the dishes, drive the car or take our morning shower.״
- Thich Nhat Hanh
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the approach you take on your life. It is the practice of being present in this moment, by bringing your full attention to what is happening right now. It is about connecting to this moment through the body, the breath, and the senses, while engaging in life. It is not a separate practice from life, but rather an attention you put on whatever is happening in your life, moment to moment. The practice means to simply stay open and willing to face feelings, thoughts, and experiences, as they come and go.
The by-product of mindfulness is the recognition of who one is- a free, happy, and limitless being.
But what happens when the by-product becomes the goal? What happens when I believe mindfulness is a means to an end, as in something to do in order to achieve freedom, or a peace of mind? Is it a motivation or is it a hindrance?
As long as I want to achieve the concept of freedom, I sabotage the actual experience of freedom. I can’t experience freedom as a concept.
When the mind is one with what is, there is a recognition of freedom.
When the thought recognizes that it separated itself from the experience, that it is watching the experience, this means living in mindfulness.
When I'm in “practice” mode, I experience separation.
I experience that there is an entity here, “I”, that practices to master the mind and reality.
Mindfulness is the recognition of separation.
When I separate, I recognize - “it's a thought.”
When I don't like what is happening, I recognize - “it's a thought.”
When recognition becomes effortless, there is no more practice. Just as we don't practice to fall asleep, we don't practice to be quiet. It is just happening.
I have a concept to be free and conscious, and to stop being identified with my thoughts.
Mindfulness is about being aware.
Are you aware when you think, or when thinking is happening?
Are you aware when you speak, or when speaking is happening?
Are you aware when you act, or when acting is happening?
Simply be aware:
What happened - happened.
What is happening - is happening.
What will happen - will happen.
Can we live in this approach, without the stress of
“I should practice”...
“I need to practice”...
“If I don’t practice, I won’t be free”...?
So quickly the mind turns itself into an entity.
The entity called “I” needs to practice mindfulness to become a better person, a happier person, a free person.
The way to get out of the trap of mindfulness, is by asking:
Who would I be without the concept “I practice”?
Who would I be without the thought “I experience”?
Who would I be without the belief “I need to practice”?
Then observe these questions without looking for answers.
There is a fear not to practice, especially if I practice for a long time. Because the practice “becomes me”. There is a fear that I will lose everything. That I lose a part of myself.
So I need to check;
If I don’t practice, will life end?
Will I no longer exist?
Check your experience.
When you don’t have a concept of “mindfulness”, not knowing what is mindfulness, are you alive?
Are you here, one with what is, without separation?
Look and experience your life with less and less concepts. Without shoulds, needs, wants...
The only thing that I know is this moment, being conscious, alive. Thoughts appear and disappear… It’s a constant change. Does it change the essence of aliveness within me?
Don't ignore anything. Everything that arises within you is one with who you are, no separation.
If you are conditioned to separate, see what is not separated right now, and remind yourself to check, “where is the proof that I am one with everything, and there is no separation?”.
Find out if it's a concept or a direct experience.
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Here is a 30-Day Mindfulness Challenge for you to practice and experience for yourself how to live consciously.
*Photo for demonstration only. Download the PDF below!
Here are a few pointers for the challenge:
Mindful Breathing - Be fully aware of the in and out breathe.
Mindful Walking - Walk barefoot on the ground, slowly and consciously. Match the rhythm of your walking with your breath. Try to walk from heel to toe.
Mindful Eating - Express gratitude for the food. Chew slowly without rushing. Swallow your food completely before taking another bite. Eat in silence.
Noble Silence - Make time in the day to sit with silence. Try not to speak with anyone.
Bell of Mindfulness - Set up a timer that rings throughout the day. You can use Mindfulness Bell app. Stop what you are doing and return to your breath when it rings.
Mindful Listening - Listen deeply without interrupting. Simply be there for the other person without voicing your own opinion, suggestion, or advice.
Mindful Speech - Speak with intention. Talk from your own experience and avoid theories and assumptions. Notice when you speak with passive aggression and violence.
Stillness Meditation - Sit with a straight spine. Relax the shoulder and neck. Focus on the breath. Watch the thoughts as they come and go.
Mindful Resting - Relax and enjoy a lazy day. Let the mind and body calm down. Stay in the present moment without trying to achieve something.
Tea/coffee Meditation - Focus on being fully aware of the process of making tea/coffee. Pour slowly. Drink mindfully. Appreciate the flavour and the resources used in cultivating it.
Here you can download the 30-Day Mindfulness Challenge (PDF)
Here you can download my 3-minute recording about mindfulness (FREE)
To Listen on Soundcloud - Being Mindfulness
You might like to check our online conscious living retreat here!