A view on mindfulness and an attempt to describe its meaning.

"First of all I need to clarify that to my mind, the term mindfulness isn’t a noun. To me it’s a verb, a work in progress, a state of being in constant flux and a personal experience as well, not easily caught in a definition for the satisfaction of one's mind.

The construction of the word "mindfull-ness" seems a bit misleading as if it's about something that needs to become manifest as a result, a full-fillment. Isn’t it a relief to be done with getting a result and with judging oneself saying “How did my mindfulness training go today… gosh, I forgot all about it, how bad I am!”

Why not enjoy the freedom of a choice, each moment of our life? I don’t mean a change of plan and leaving an intention when the going gets tough, but the freedom of change, of choice, in how we look at what happens in our life and to see our motives and drives underneath it, or wrapped by all sorts of pump and circumstance.

Can awareness alias self-reflection aka presence lead one to discernment of resonance and truth and ultimately, a next choice or action? To me that’s quite close to a definition of what I experience as mindfulness and how my mind understands it in the company of my soul and physical body with senses awake.

Quite an amount of people who live within the boundaries of their comfort zones can't easily grasp the meaning of mindfulness when self-reflection requires leaving these comfort zones, the affirmations of a status quo, leaving one's life unchanged, resisting challenge and trigger. Unless one stumbles on it by accident, in rare moments of “Aha erlebnis” or during or after a state of shock.

In a humorous manner I sometimes witness people practicing mindfulness with a mind fully occupied with trying to be mindful and making efforts to be mindful. With a mind fully engaged in "working on it" in a self-consciousness that is in fear for being found out. One compares one-self with an outer circumstance in order to define one's own inner state. A large number of people is mind-programmed to not have direct access to its inner state, as I perceive it.

That state of being to compare oneself to an outer authority or hype, is much present nowadays, in real life and in the virtual world: a contracted state of self-consciousness in fear for being found out, at risk for being ridiculed.

 

In contrast with a relaxed state of awareness of what IS and at ease while witnessing the imprints, ruts and habits of one's mind and DNA without being disturbed by them.

 

To me an effective approach in being mindful is a "mind-emptiness" to place the word “empty” opposite the word “full”. To me, it’s the observation of the "quacking duck" without engaging actively in what that duck does and demands.

To me it's the observer's stance: BEING with what presents itself, an all-inclusiveness of what transpires: feeling, sensing, experiencing emotions, as an experiencer and witness both.

The mind is a demanding ruler, oh so comfortable with control and with telling us to keep within boundaries, tracks and cogwheels of a large machine. Charley Chaplin shows this machinery in the movie Modern Times. It’s present in YouTube, full length.

 

To many Western minds mindfulness means an action, moving into DOING. That's what we're trained for, aiming for results and profit, in school and work, in life. The Western world is more materially oriented in both qualities: forms of results and things.

 

To indigenous tribal minds, for example those living with a Buddhist - Maori - or Hopi Indian background, mindfulness means a non-action, a state of BEING. The concept of result and profit is more spiritually oriented.The source of that concept as well, without “thinking” with the mind about it too much.

 

The one part of us that is “active” is the part where our awareness and attention resides, but it’s an alert presence and not a “doing of action”. To me, that's where the concept of "no thing" and the nature of a void creates discomfort in our Western modern world, with an education focussed on programs with concepts that are forced upon us and meant to be lived by and obeyed.

 

Living according a norm that is forced upon us as well, or forced upon us by our self-consciousness, if we don’t mind. Who benefits from it? What’s ruling our mind?

 

If we imagine that all living beings once were a dream in the mind of a  supreme being and that organisms, living beings in physical form, came into manifestation by the intention and use of willpower used by that supreme being, it inevitably shows that an imagination and idea must come first and the manifestation of form second.

 

“Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever will” is a line in a Sound of Music song. It sounds true to me. “When the Universe is an expanding balloon, who’s the man blowing up that balloon?” is a question asked by Nassim Haramein, an original researcher who attended a congress with scientists, astrophysicists and space-scientists, to whom speaking time was offered on stage.

 

Nassim watched the effect of his question on the audience sweating on it, some literally. Now, if that’s not thinking out of the box! Leaving one’s comfort zones does often imply "sweating on it". Isn't this the right order: an idea or dream comes into manifestation of form, in how we create and bring into the world what we desire? First we find a longing, an urge or thought that keeps recurring about having something or someone in one’s life.

Can we approach the fulfilment of a desire as a work in progress and even maintain it as such even after fulfilment of a desire? A work in progress, taking care of, holding that creation?

 

Can we find in that experience, that the process is as much part of the manifestation as the manifestation itself? Taking the sting out of it, left by the separation of these two and the experience of enduring, impatience and worries, thinking often “Oh when will be the day!?” living in the future?

 

We can begin to create and manifest when the thought to actually do it enters our mind and heart. To me “freeing oneself from ignorance” is an excellent definition of mindfulness. A verb".

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