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Mindfulness

Mindfulness.

Mindfulness means . . .

  • Creating new categories
  • Welcoming new information
  • Tolerating more than one view

Mindfulness also means . . .

  • Letting go of the demand for categories
  • Disassociating from the craving for information
  • Detaching from the need for a point of view

Mindfulness means present moment appreciation of our inner states and the world around us.

You can practice mindfulness just about anywhere, at any time, under almost any circumstance.

Mindfulness creates the context for better access to intuition, creativity, and community. Mindfulness within community helps you:

  • Clarify your values
  • Strengthen and direct your will power
  • Make better choices for your life

Beginning today, this moment, you can start a regular mindfulness practice. Through this practice, you will begin to recognize and appreciate both . . .

  • . . . your inner state:
    • Body
    • Emotions
    • Thoughts
  • . . . the influences of the outer world:
    • Environmental factors
    • Other people's attitudes
    • The forces of culture and clan

. . . not later, as you reflect on them, but in the moment, while you are experiencing them.

Experiences of mindfulness may arise unbidden. You can also bring them into your life on purpose, at any moment you choose. Through disciplined, active practice, you can learn to:

  • Set the intent to see the present moment with clarity.
  • Encourage deep relaxation and "flow."
  • Cultivate the skillful means to a better life.

Does mindfulness intrigue you? Would you like to explore mindfulness further? Please feel free to start a conversation with us about where to start or go to next.

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The ancient followers of the Tao were
subtle, mysterious and penetrating.
They were too deep to be fathomed.
All we can do is describe their appearance.
Hesitant, as if crossing a winter stream.
Watchful, as if aware of neighbors on all sides.
Respectful, like a visiting guest.
Yielding, like ice beginning to melt.
Simple, like an Uncarved Block.
Open, like a valley.
Obscure, like muddy water.

Who else can be still,
and let the muddy water slowly become clear?
Who else can remain at rest,
and slowly come to life?
Those who hold fast to the Tao
do not try to fill themselves to the brim.
Because they do not try to be full,
they can be worn out and yet, ever new.

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 15


Moon/Finger Zen.


Mindfulness can help us appreciate a wider range of viewpoints.

Why is this important?
Because you never know where or when insights and opportunities may appear. If you close your eyes because the view out the bus window doesn't suit your taste, you could miss your stop.

Why would I close my eyes?
To protect yourself from anything that falls outside your "comfort level."

But I think I'm a pretty open person.
Perhaps you are. But you want to make changes in your life, and that could be dangerous.

So?
The human brain will always try to protect us from danger. The path to meaningful work is one of personal growth and mastery. It often involves thinking or doing something new. Anything new is unknown. Anything unknown holds potential danger. No matter how much you want to make a change, the nature of your brain is to try to protect you from danger. ("Don't do that! You might get hurt.")

The brain is . . . an organ of survival, like claws and fangs. It makes one think things are true when they're really only advantageous.

Albert Szent-Gyorgi, Nobel Laureate

How does mindfulness change that?
Mindfulness helps you stand back and detach from the brain's automatic, instinctive response to danger. You may still heed your own warnings and choose not to make a certain change, but you will have done so with your eyes open.


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