Make sure you follow your own advice… when you know something is right, and when you can see other people follow a principle that has benefit, is good, and when your experience shows you benefit from putting such principles in action, then do so.
Once you are aware that your reactions to life’s ups and downs can be moderated by the way you think, the way you understand, the way you see things you are beginning to exert greater control over your life… THE WAY YOU THINK
I am not a great one for control… but I like the idea that I have more control than anyone else over what I think and want and do. That is, not being controlled or manipulated or coerced by outside forces gives me a sense of freedom and choice.
When you can experience this kind of freedom and choice and you are able to see your worries and concerns are rightfully placed… perhaps there will be less need to “worry”.
A certain amount of attention is needed to run a life effectively. However, over stimulating your brain is a waste of precious resources. Ask yourself the question : “Why am I overstimulating my brain?” It’s an interesting question and I think Socrates would have asked you the same question. Of course, you will have to apply some consideration to this and hopefully come up with some interesting answers.
There are four principles to note regarding taking mindful steps toward achieving happiness or nirvana or peace or what ever you ant to call living well.
Acknowledge… Experience of pain, angst, discomfort, disharmony, torment, distress…
Realising… Knowing where the source of this pain lies…
Act… Knowing how to stop the pain…
Act on mindfully… Encouraging continued living toward ceasing the pain.
Mindfulness introduces the idea of following this process… and indeed it is recognising that the process, in the here-and-now, is the very act of being mindful in practice.
Mindfulness brings a different way of being into the world that is without religious or dogmatic belief or faith but has beatific ramifications far exceeding anything brought forth by a pope or archbishop, priest, mufti, cleric, president or king, philosopher or rule-maker, court or parliament .
Experiencing pain… is the first sign something is wrong. Ignoring the pain leads to complications that can get way out of hand. If you have sore tooth, you go to a dentist so it can be looked at. Know the pain. Going to the dentist is another way of acknowledging your pain.
It is this first critical step that is the beginning of mindfulness… see, you already practice it and you didn’t even realise. Not realising what you are doing is blindness that leads to further pain and distress, to you and to others.
Being blind to our pain, ignoring or distracting ourselves stops us being mindful.
The source of pain… is the root of the distress. Seek advice and assistance. Your dentist will Xray and probe your tooth and advise you if there is a problem and what the cause is.
Stopping the pain… is dependant on your dentist prescribing effective treatment. Follow the treatment. Making use of effective ways to stop pain can enrich your life
Preventative maintenance… ensure the pain does not return. Live your life according to strong and effective principles. Your dentist will suggest flossing and regular cleaning.
Everyone suffers pain at some time in their life.
Everyone can discover the source of this pain.
Everyone can discover how to ease the pain.
Everyone can live a life freed from continued pain.
Nonbeing, nondoing, nonviolence…
… from the Buddhist perspective…
Mindfulness involves nonbeing and nondoing which introduce and support the essence of nonviolence… being in the here-and-now… responding in a helpful way.
When we react rather than respond we are probably relying on our ancestral way of being. Early in the development of contemporary man the way to survive was to be the first to strike back, protecting ourselves, property, family and so on.
Knowing HOW TO RESPOND in the moment can save an enormous amount of energy and unproductive behaviour.
Nonbeing denotes allowing the self to be in space free from judgment, free from influence, free from fear and shame and free to embrace everything.
While none of us welcome the uncomfortable or hard or difficult things or people in our lives, hardly any of us can say they have not experienced those times. What to do with that knowledge is how mindfulness works.
Your mind can activate ways of acting rather than REacting; responding rather than lashing out unthinkingly.
Responding comes after mindfully reflecting, considering, caringly attending the issue or person or event. Going a little bit out of your way to say “Hello, can I help?” you rather than brushing past in a hurry to get your tasks finished. I say, your task in life is to be attentive to others.
Nondoing indicates not interfering or to do only things that are meaningful and have significance in-the-moment.
Nonviolence is the here-and-now, what is happening in this moment, being alert and relaxed at the same time. In some sense it has similarities with the “at peace” state people encounter after meditation.
The here-and-now or mindfulness concept allows therapist and client to honestly and bravely encounter issues that may be stumbling blocks in life transitions… life transitions we all face.
How we handle these transitions is indicative of how well we know ourselves and perhaps how well we face our shortcomings or incorporate our shadow or dark side of our character.