Many years ago I was drawn to the idea of Mindfulness practice and it’s now something that I like to incorporate daily into my life in some form or another, whether it is a meditation or a short walk in nature. In Buddhism, the word meditation is equivalent to a word like cooking. It’s a family of activities, not a single thing. So Mindfulness practice, which includes meditation, is a whole approach to life. In fact Mindfulness meditation and Mindfulness practice are interchangeable.
“The Buddhists describe Mindfulness practice as pure awareness: cultivating the power of the present moment.”
There are three common forms of Buddhist meditation and each of these meditative practices calls on different mental skills. The first is focused attention where one trains to focus for long periods of time – this fits in with the Western idea of meditation. The second involves voluntarily cultivating compassion – which is a daily activity. The third is called “open presence”. It’s a state of being acutely aware of whatever thought, emotion or sensation is present, without reacting to them. You become a witness to them. The Buddhists describe Mindfulness practice as pure awareness: cultivating the power of the present moment.
Every step you take; every breath; every bite of an apple; every joyful exaltation; every bout of anger and frustration; every tearful remembrance: all these things wholly exist in a single mindfulness moment. Mindfulness is the compassionate understanding that these occurrences are all equal within us and are a transient part of our unfolding existence.
Mindfulness is a way of life that creates a connection between oneself and the cosmos. It bridges the spiritual gap if you like between our inner life and the outer physical world, creating meaning and purpose.
This is an excerpt from the NEW RELEASE audio by James Wild