Mindfulness is…

Something came to me while journaling after meditation today. I’d found myself getting over a subtle yet pervasive feeling that I have something to gain or fix while meditating.

“Without mindfulness, the tiny notion that something is wrong with me or someone else is never seen as a thought.
No sooner does it speed past my vision does it become my very lense that I look through. “

Tea outside todayAfter some time sipping tea outside, then later meditating outside, I pause to notice how I feel happier, less reactive, and more still. Before doing those things today, there were thoughts about how busy I was, or how I wanted to do other things that would be imposed upon. Something to remind ourselves when we’re resisting doing something that in previous times we’ve decided is important: Sometimes a degree of trust is needed (or openness… or patience with yourself, whatever you call it!) to ease into that place of stillness, and that the state we’re in doesn’t always seem to make way for what we need.

Bowing head to nature.

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Happiness Unhidden

Insight today: Prerequisites of happiness.

One of my favorite questions Robert Holden asks is, on a scale of 1-10, how happy are you in this very moment?  Can you allow yourself to envision the feeling of being one level happier? Now, WHAT would it take to be there? How often I remain in a middle-level happiness simply because I’m not taking full stock of what is. Simply asking yourself this question brings you more in touch with what’s here. [Keep reading below the picture]
Do I confuse happiness with happy states? What are the prerequisites for happy states? Not circumstantially, but within my own being? How is the instrument of myself usually tuned when I receive genuine happiness?

For me, a willingness to be connected. An openness, acceptance, being present to myself and others, allowing myself to be right here, comfortable, rooted, and engaged.

 

Maybe this offers more insight than does the “technique” of pursuing happy states and circumstances that seem to birth them. Sure, circumstances bring about a happy state, but doesn’t my inner temperament have a role in it? It must, because I’ve found myself on a beautiful sunny warm day, in the company of nature, good friend, or family, and simultaneously unhappy.

 

May my moments be infused with the spirit of being open, in that way that inclines me toward happiness.

If I concentrate on anything, may it be to remember this way of being that makes me most “ready for happiness.”

Wonderful Quote

When we drop the idea that we’re supposed to be having a certain kind of experience and open ourselves to the experience we are having, then we avoid nothing, and we fear nothing, because we are right here with ourselves.

– Cheri Huber

Peace Is Always Beginning, In Each Of Us

Driving today, after the five minute well-being revival, it came over me, a sense of importance of Inner Peace. The Peace Revolution, we say “it starts with me.” I feel that often, I take this to imply that I will work to achieve inner peace, then “spread” that “peace vibe” externally to those around me. But now I see the mission of my work with Peace Revolution differently. After transforming myself in the meditation room and heading about my day, I see my own capability to create peace. And, as a member of Peace Revolution, I see my role is to encourage others to find their own peace, for themselves, because we all must be centers of peace. I am learning that a true “peace activist” does not walk around with a paint bucket of “peace” and smear it across the expanses of our world. A “peace spreader” instead is like a gardener, planting seeds in others, seeds of happiness, of peace. The seeds came from somewhere else, but their growth, their fruit, belong to nature. It is up to me not to craft peace inside and “install” it somewhere. Instead, I can encourage people to touch the ground of their own being. It is ground we perhaps all share, we come from the same soil. To connect within is to access the element of being that we all share.
You are the center of existence … you are the center of peace itself.

Peace is not a status that is painted on existence, applied to our world. Peace exists literally inside of you. It is not something outside that “depends on you.” It is a gift you already have, but need to give to yourself, so that others may benefit. Isn’t that inspiring?

Sincerity

A new understanding has come over me—that I can choose to work hard, be productive, busy. Keeping this sort of focus is a routine way for me to get things done, and to feel accomplished. But they also involve a constant measuring of myself against outcomes, sometimes against external  outcomes, over which I may or may not have so much control.

I decided recently to take on the practice of cultivating sincerity over laboriousness. Is my heart in what I’m doing? Even before I think about what I am doing, am I in tune with my heart? My genuineness? If so, I will work as hard as necessary, and more importantly, I will have more faith that I am working for the right reasons, no matter what I am doing.

Can this be a lesson to apply to our actions, and the person doing them? Can we use it to see new ways of applying ourselves to what we do? An excerpt from Confucian Analects expresses the same sentiments in the beginning of this post:

“Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles. Then no friends would not be like yourself (all friends would be as loyal as yourself). If you make a mistake, do not be afraid to correct it.”

Chengyi, (Mandarin, "Sincerity")