Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Miracle of Mindfulness

Let's talk a little bit on the importance of breathing.

When I'm teaching yoga class, I try to create as much focus on the breath as possible. When you are aware of your breathing, observing your breathing, you can't help but - be here now - embodying the present moment.

And it doesn't need to be this mystical Now-ness where every moment blossoms out before you. I'm just talking about cooling your mind out and being present. It's about being awake, being there with whoever and whatever is around you and not letting your thoughts take you to the places that don't matter.

Vietnamese chill out monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, wrote this book, The Miracle of Mindfulness, which I really got into: it's about practicing mindfulness. Because you can get real calm and real holy while your stretching in class or meditating with your eyes closed, but all that doesn't really matter when you come down from your mountain and you get upset when someone bumps into you.

So mindfulness is meditation for everyday life. It's about returning your awareness to the present throughout the day in order to just be there. This is bringing you back into your body, back to the task at hand, and ultimately tuning into and turning on your higher self.

And when you're working towards that, then, that mystical Nowness does become a possibility, gradually, gently opening up more and more in your daily life:
"When you are walking along a path leading into a village, you can practice mindfulness. Walking along a dirt path, surrounded by patches of green grass, if you practice mindfulness you will experience that path, the path leading into the village… If we're really engaged in mindfulness while walking along the path to the village, then we will consider the act of each step we take as an infinite wonder, and a joy will open our hearts like a flower, enabling us to enter the world of reality."
Read the rest: http://www.mediafire.com/?azjfomgd1id

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