Everyday Mindfulness & Beyond…

by meditative - March 21st, 2016

What may seem so ordinary has extraordinary power to change the way we ‘see’ & live.

Mindfulness can offer us a wholesome Way of being awareand with practice, a refined way of ‘seeing’ and relating to our ordinary, everyday experiences. When intended as a Way of being with our daily activities, it offers us a gateway toward a more vital mode of living. By ‘carefully paying attention’ in the present moment, we improve our capacity to regulate emotion; manage emotional dysfunction; improve patterns of thinking; and reduce negative mindsets, etc.

As a form of self-awareness, mindfulness practice can disentangle us from our conditioned (routinized) ways of perceiving and thinking. We can explore and examine our everyday experiences with a ‘freshness’ of perspective- open-minded and contextually sensitive to see things in a new, more expansive way. In the here and now, with everything we see, sense, and perceive to be in constant flux, we accept a form of ‘conditional learning’ that transcends what we experience as  ‘absolutes’- being aware of what’s happening as it is happening in a curious, open-hearted, and non-judgmental way- intentionally and on purpose.

Through routine practice of being mindful in our daily lives both formally and informally, a refined state of ‘discerning awareness’ can manifest to where the observer experiences a form of disidentification from the activity of his/her own mind… simply noticing waves of thoughts, feelings, images, and sensations as they naturally arise and fall in consciousness. This process of disidentification is both radical and liberating to the Western mindset. It is this disentanglement with the mind and the mind-body process… this discerning awareness that may be the most operant mechanism of the mindfulness practice responsible for ameliorating human suffering. It is also this discerning awareness that helps us to move beyond the automaticity of our mental habits and conditioning through routine attention training and the skillfulness of a refined ‘mindsight or ‘witness consciousness’.

Cultivating a refined form of meta-awareness (i.e. awareness of awareness) is a direct outcome of our fortitude to practice routinely in the face of our life’s challenges, difficulties, and adversities. It is embracing both pleasant and unpleasant experiences with equanimity- with balanced temperament.  It flourishes from our focused intention, attention, objectivity, and care to discern what may be deeply wholesome in fostering health and well-being not only in our own lives but also in the lives of others. Compassion and empathy flow from this truly purposeful and meaningful process, and expands not only a deep sense of self-care, but also an altruistic level of care for others.

Mindful awareness is a seed for everyday change and transformation.. moment-to-moment… person-to-person. What may seem to be very ordinary may have extraordinary consequences in the transformational power underlying this truly revelational practice.