Mindfulness is: Knowing you are not your thoughts. Our thoughts take us away from being here now. If I am thinking about the past, or worried about the future, I am a prisoner of my thoughts.
When I take a moment to observe myself having thoughts, I am no longer the thoughts. I get to be and observe at the same time. That’s why if I continue to come back to my breath which always occurs in the here and now, it draws me into the present. And from that vantage point I can observe as past and future attempts to draw me away from the moment.
This paying attention to the here and now, to the breath, to the observing one’s thoughts without being critical or judgmental is what many people call Mindfulness. But what is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a word. Nothing more, nothing less. As a word it is a symbol or a sign. As a sign or symbol it points to a way of looking at life in general and one’s own life in particular. Mindfulness points one in the direction of being aware of the present moment.
Mindfulness points to: Being aware of and paying attention to the moment in which we find ourselves. Our past is gone, our future is not yet here. So what exists between them is the present moment.
If I can observe and not get caught up in my thoughts, it is all that I have. The here and now, the present is the link which holds what was and what will be.
My past was a series of present moments which brought me to this present moment. My future should it happen will be a series of present moments effected by only present moment in which I am now living, being, doing, observing, being aware or unaware, and attentive or inattentive.
While mindfulness is a generalization about paying attention and being aware in the present moment, it occurs only in the individual. That individual makes a choice to be in the moment and be aware of what is happening in the present moment. In that choice is a realization.
You are not your thoughts. Thoughts take us away from being here now. This paying attention to the here and now, to the breath, to the observing one’s thoughts, without being critical or judgmental as we go about our daily lives is what many people call Mindfulness Practice.
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