On Meditation and Mindfulness

Okay let’s try this.

I find somewhere where I can sit quietly. Then I let my mind wander a bit to the noises around me until finally I calm my inner voice. I eliminate thinking about comfort or re-living a recent moment or thinking of a future action. Each time I bring myself back to the present. I can do this but it really is quite challenging at times.  Finally I calm my thoughts and just sort of drift in and out with my breath. Then I start to relax and take deep breaths.  Okay, then I try not to fall asleep. Okay, I take a nap.

I think naps help too.

The point of mindfulness.

When I first heard the word “mindfulness” it sounded like the opposite of “mindlessness” but that’s not it at all. No matter what the label, I feel connected with everything around me and on a different level from only having thought. It’s like joining the human race on a conscious level rather than just existing. Single cell animals exist; humans know their immortality.

Mediation has been around for so long I suspect we have always had it in our lives in some form or another. Although it sounds simply like having a heightened sense of awareness it is very hard to maintain on a continuous basis unless you are very well disciplined. Mediation though also brings a certain amount of contentment when done well.

People are often encouraged to try it when they need to relax from stress or to try to make it part of their lives along with a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. Like everything in our lives it takes practice and persistence and the willingness to try.

I recently took a class on Change Management and one of the many books mentioned in the class to read was called The Answer to How is Yes by Peter Block. I read this and it started me thinking back along the lines of quiet reflective meditation:

  • Know yourself.
  • Think about what your buttons are that sets you off.
  • Learn to recognize it when your values are being challenged.

It’s not really what the book is all about but it helped me focus more on what I truly wanted to do to facilitate change. It really is all in your mind. Unfortunately unless you come to this realization sooner rather than later, you will undoubtedly spend a lot of time reading about what you should do.

The other thing I learned and this is from several sources, was to find a passion. Something that really and truly makes you want to do it. Don’t just obsess of it, instead find a meaning and a focus for that passion. Use the energy in research to guide you.

Meditation guides your mind and a personal reflection on who we are and what we stand for. Mindfulness keeps you focused by keeping your interest in the journey itself.