Mindfulness is about paying attention. Sometimes, however, when I think about mindfulness I sometimes get caught up in thinking about about it as a state of being that has to be grasped or “attained.” Even though the practices of meditation and mindfulness require practice, what I need to remember is that the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical benefits of mindfulness come from a conscious effort that isn’t reaching or grasping, it is simply LETTING GO…
Things To Let Go Of
Attachments lead to yearning and emptiness due to the perception that there is a void needing to be filled. If you fixate on something you do not have, your mind forms the assumption that something is missing, when in fact, you have all that you need. That car, that job, whatever it is your neighbor has… Our Western society perpetuates a sense of entitlement. Even the perception that one needs to be part of a traditional family structure in order to be “complete”; In reality, the only one thing we do need is other people in the form of meaningful relationships of any kind.
Clearly, holding on to guilt and resentments hurts us. Although our foibles are our greatest teachers, there is a difference between remembering what is done, and continuing to linger in the feelings of what is done. This applies to the positives as well. I think of the people who dwell in the glory days of their youth. Reminiscing is fine and good and shared experiences can create and maintain bonds between people but living in that time robs you of creating new beautiful experiences. Who wants to find themselves saying, look at all the fun we had looking back at us looking back at us looking back?
Ill Feelings Toward Others
Anger. Resentment. Jealousy. I like to think of the Buddha quote, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” Harboring any sort of ill feelings toward others robs you of your own joy. And note: what others think of YOU is none of your business. Those who matter don’t judge, and those who judge don’t matter. Just do you…
Gratitude Is The Solution
We must always employ mindful awareness to see the beauty in the things that are right in front of us. Always. And there is ALWAYS something beautiful to see. If we can truly appreciate even the smallest blessings in our lives, even when there is the pain of tragedy and loss, we can enjoy peace and serenity through mindfulness.
Let’s sum up with an analogy. If you think about your life and the passage of time as a river, you don’t want to swim against the current, because you will exhaust yourself and get nowhere. If you grab hold of a fast moving boat, you will exhaust yourself with holding on and miss valuable ports along the way. If you let go and float, the current will carry you and you will save your valuable energy. Let it go…