Buddhism: Lived Out Through Mindfulness

Buddhism: Lived Out Through Mindfulness

Mindfulness Meditation is not only the seventh path of the Noble Eight-fold Path, but is the core energy that puts the Buddha’s teaching into action. It involves deliberate efforts to become more fully present to what’s happening right now, through:

  • Pausing (before we have a negative reaction to what’s going on around us or within us)
  • Reflecting (on what’s happening within our bodies, emotions, and perceptions/assumptions)

Let’s take a deeper dive:

Pausing – calming practices for whenever we feel “triggered,” or during our “down time”:

  • Focusing on our breathing, by silently reciting “in, out,” or silently counting each in-breath and out-breath
  • Taking a walk (without technology!), paying close attention to what we’re seeing, hearing, feeling, touching, and smelling
  • Eating mindfully, by taking our time with each bite and not multi-tasking
  • Sitting comfortably or lying on our back on the carpet, and directing our attention to each part of our body in order to notice where it might be tense—and then focusing on our breathing while we tenderly observe this tension
  • Silently reciting what’s called the loving-kindness mantra: “May I be safe and protected from inner and outer harm.”

Reflecting – investing time, at our earliest opportunity, to more deeply consider the habitual thinking and beliefs that might be the sources of our:

  • Bodily sensations (tension, stomach ache, headache, back ache, shortness of breath, racing heartbeat, dry throat, perspiration, etc.)
  • Emotional distress (anger, fear, anxiety, sadness, shame, grief, disappointment, etc.)
  • Negative perceptions or assumptions (“no one likes me, no one appreciates me, I’m going to get fired,” etc.)

Proven Outcomes of Mindfulness Meditation (just Google it!):

  • Reduced stress
  • Increased focus
  • Increased productivity
  • Healthier relationships
  • Increased happiness and inner peace

Mindfulness meditation practice is both the time we set aside to practice and how we try to practice moment by moment. It both is a practice and a way of living.

As our mindfulness practice matures, we gradually transcend “practice” itself, evolving from “doing” to simply “being”: being aware of being aware, of pure awareness or nirvana as our deepest reality.

We become, ultimately, mindful of the whole cosmos within us and without us. And how the six elements that make up all physical phenomena, including our body, are characterized by impermanence and interbeing or non-self (giving rise to compassion), and are a manifestation of our true nature of pure awareness or nirvana. 

Therefore, we already have everything we need and there is no basis for fear; which means there is no reason to suffer.

Easier said than lived! Which is why we practice…