Mindfulness is a quality that can be cultivated. There is a lot of discussion around Mindfulness in the media of late .. so I thought I might share this post from our Monday Meditation Musing (originally posted March 2012) .. mindfulness can be found wherever you are!
Mindfulness is about paying attention, it is the practice of bringing whatever is occurring in the present moment (an activity, a mind stream, an image, a sound) into total .. full focus awareness.
Mindfulness practices can be amazingly powerful and enlightening, because they open up the world in a new way and we can find ourselves totally caught up in the 'wonder' of the present moment in such a way that it can be life changing.
I think of my daughter as a young child, totally fascinated by the smallest stone, the colourful cloth or the play of light (and the magic of shadows) .. daily events that we might ignore or not even see, yet are the playground of exploration and magic for a child.
Mindfulness in its purest and most joyful form
Noticing new things or seeing the world in a new way - can be mindfulness training. When our awareness is totally captivated by something new (or a new way of seeing something old) .. when we are totally paying attention.. our sense of wonder leads us to be mindful and engaged .. even when not meditating in the sitting down and being still sense.
By taking a single mindfulness practice, and keeping this as your practice for a day/week/year .. you can begin to cultivate a mindfulness that expands into your life .. even 24/7 (although by no means am I saying this is easy to do).
The Colour Blue
In the Buddhist tradition there is the concept of 'blue sky mind' .. the vast, luminous, calm and clear mind that is always a part of us, just hidden somewhat by thoughts, mind noise, emotions and anxiety. Like taking a plane ride out of a cold winter city, once you ascend the cloud layer you find ... expansive blue sky.
When we meditate we help clear all the noise and 'stuff' away so that our mind and our awareness expands and we are lifted above the narrow world we often get stuck in .. to find the expansive peacefulness of blue sky mind.
In this mindfulness practice called Colour Blue we set an intention to open our awareness for all manner of 'blue' in our daily life. There will be the obvious instances, like the sky above us (certainly if you under a Summer sky at the moment) .. but also look out for the more subtle appearances .. the sheets on your bed, the flower on a bottle of shampoo, your coffee mug .. and when you become aware of 'blue' take a moment to stop .. and simply say 'I am mindful'.
That's all you need to do.
Catch yourself paying attention, take a moment to be totally aware of where your awareness is, and reinforce the noticing by making a positive statement. When we are mindful and have a particular 'interest' in mind .. suddenly we become aware of it ubiquitous presence in our lives.
In this exercise the colour blue also reminds us of the blue sky mind .. always within us, always above us even when overcast or raining. Even when we cannot see the blue sky, it is always there.
"Even when our mind-state is cloudy and our emotions are raining, our
Original Nature is always there, shining brightly within us and all things"
Jan Chozen Bays from How To Train A Wild Elephant
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