What does the term mindful mean? We see this word and associate it with a way of becoming more aware of our thoughts. Or maybe it’s about not thinking at all. That would be nice right!?
The ability to stop thinking altogether…ahhhh peace at last. But it never works out like that does it? In fact the more mindful we try to become the more thoughts we have. What a shitty paradox.
Wanting to think less actually makes us think more. So where do we go with this term mindfulness and our understanding of it?
Here’s a great opportunity to point out what first and foremost makes our lives much more painful than they have to be. “Mindfulness”, yes a word paradox. A word we associate with less thinking but actually points to the problem itself, mindfullness.
Lets play a little game of mix and match. Let’s use the word mind and swap fullness with lessness, coming up with the word mindlessness. Surely this makes more sense to what we are trying to achieve. Now for just a few seconds hold that idea of having no mind. This equates to no thought, so what’s left? Are you dead? Have you ceased to exist? Have you disappeared into the depths of the dark oblivion never to be seen again?
I’m guessing the answer is no.
So what would be left without your mind? Well, you still have awareness of your body, awareness of your environment. You can hear, touch, taste, smell and feel so your senses have remained. Again, for just a few seconds, verify for yourself in this moment, that if you had no mind then you would still function, and you could still perceive.
So what am I trying to get across to you? I’m trying to demonstrate that thinking is secondary in your existence. If thinking wasn’t a capability then all that would remain would just be a state of awareness. Verify that now in this moment. Verify that you are just aware.
Here lies the key to your freedom. The state in which you are just aware. Aware of what, you ask? Your environment, your senses, your body. The deeper you realise your awareness the more you move into the state of pure awareness.
Thoughts come and go, chop and change. Every thought pulls your awareness into it. As your awareness moves into thought you move away from your environment and your body. Your ability to be able to fully perceive where you are right now is reduced.
To be more mindful is to be more aware of your environment, your body and your senses. It’s your ability to be more aware of this very moment. The moment in which you are always in.
Try this practice right now. For the next minute hold your awareness on whatever sounds you can hear. As you listen intently you move into a space of alert awareness.
The more you practice being in this space of pure awareness, the greater your ability to hold this space. This will lead to a greater ability to experience peace, joy, love, wisdom and deep calmness.
The more deeply you begin to realize this, the more you move out of mind and into now. It’s a different state of awareness. It’s the moving from personal sense of self, which is the limitations and pain of mind, into the space of vastness and deep peace, which is innate to the state of pure awareness.
“Every thought takes you away from where you are now. Grounded is to be fully where you always are.” David Cronin