The Energy of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is an energy that allows us to be fully alive, to be truly in the here and now, to see the wonders of life, and to suffer less. So much of the time we tend to operate on “automatic mode” not really being aware of what we are experiencing. We get lost in regrets about the past or worries about the future.

The practice of mindfulness is to wake up and be fully present in the present moment. We wake up from being lost in our worries our depression, our fears, our anger, and we find the miracle of the blue sky, the flowering blossom, the smile of a stranger, the kindness of our own heart.

Mindfullness is a simple practice with profound effect. We start by simply paying full attention to our breath. Breathing in, we know we are breathing in, and breathing out we know we are breathing out. Full awareness of the breath means that we follow our breath from its beginning to the end, trying not to loose ourselves in thoughts about
breakfast, our schedule, our problems, or our desires: we allow the mind to rest.

Conscious breathing allows the body and mind to reunite, to come together allowing for healing to take place both physically and mentally. Our breathing creates a kind of spaciousness that enables us to both see life and all its wonders and to face our  poblems without our usual thinking patterns that produce stress.

In Plum Village (Thich Nhat Hanh’s centre in France) we say that the practice of mindfulness is to arrive, to come home. In our true home, in the here and now, we feel totally relaxed, totally free. The practice is to keep arriving, to keep coming home at every moment.

There are practices to help our mindfulness grow like formal sitting meditation and walking meditation as well as tea and eating meditation. With these practices, we can continue the practice on our own throughout all our waking moments, practicing breathing, calming, looking deeply, opening our hearts.

The Four Immeasurables

May all beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.
May we be free from suffering and the root of suffering.
May we not be separated from the great happiness that is devoid of suffering.
May we dwell in the great equanimity, free from passion, aggression and prejudice.