Mindfulness is a way of learning to relate directly to whatever is happening in your life. It is a way of taking charge of your Mind. Mindfulness can also be translated as awareness and it’s a mental quality that we can cultivate through practicing meditation.
When we are mindful we are aware of what is happening both internally and externally because we are paying attention. Mindfulness also helps us come to know and understand our minds, body and spirit on a direct and immediate level. It is a way that we can begin to examine ourselves to see how we are creating all the stress we experience. We may wake up one day feeling great and then the next day, terrible. We may not be aware that we are just reacting to our internal thoughts and stories. By observing ourselves, we can change a pattern or painful habit instead of being lost in the same drama again and again.
Through developing mindful awareness we can establish a new relationship to inner tendencies such as desire, anger, and confusion. By seeing these states clearly as they are, we are no longer controlled by them. Mindfulness helps to develop clarity of seeing which allows grasping, judgment, and fear to fall away. It’s a form of medicine for the mind because our delusions burn up in the light of awareness.
Mindfulness is like turning on a bright lamp in a dark room, mindfulness is the light that obliterates the unconscious darkness. We want to begin seeing things as they truly are, not as they appear to be on a superficial level. Through practicing mindfulness we discover that our essential nature is freedom and clarity, and that we need only rest in that nature.
It’s well documented that meditation and mindfulness leads us down the path of wisdom, “insight” which is a deep understanding of the truth of the things could be described as our, “AHA” moment. It’s the beginning of a radical shift in consciousness and it often arises spontaneously. You might be practicing meditation when suddenly you have deeper understanding about your true nature and in that moment, you have shifted. You see things differently. You could go back to the same habitual patterns, but deep down some underlying shift has occurred. This is the medicine of the truth. You sit down on your cushion and digest it.
You take it in by sitting in the present moment. It’s mysterious how it heals us. It opens us. It purifies us. It’s so simple we could overlook it, scratch our heads, and ask: “This is the path?” Sitting down and just paying attention and the answer is Yes! By learning about the mind, developing knowledge and through direct experience we begin to unravel our delusions and discover the truth. Recognition of our oneness with all that is – is no longer a concept, but an immediate experience that arises simultaneously with our normal awareness. Healing and transformation are a matter of ‘letting go’ to the luminous intelligence of our true self.