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Embracing Change: The Transformative Power of Mindfulness

Interactive live mindfulness courses

Life is a constant stream of change. Everything in the surrounding world, along with the happenings in our lives, is in constant flux, as are the thoughts and emotions in our minds. The principles and functions of our outer and inner environments, both collectively and individually, are deeply interconnected.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s quote, ‘Thoughts are like clouds in the windy sky; conscious breath is my anchor,’ perfectly expresses the principles of Mindful awareness. Various mindfulness training programs have undergone extensive scientific research and have been adopted by medical institutions, universities, and enterprises worldwide, due to the numerous undeniable benefits they bring to the lives of practitioners. Consequently, the term ‘mindfulness’ has gained significant strength and importance in recent decades among those fortunate enough to encounter and apply these practices in their lives.

Despite mindfulness often being the key to a balanced and joyful life, which could lead to a collectively balanced and healthy society, it is still ignored, overlooked, and even shamed by a large part of society.

The Questions We Must Ask Ourselves

Is a truly healthy, balanced, and united society perhaps not desired? Or have too many people become accustomed to the sufferings of automatic behavioral patterns learned from market-driven consumption? Is it merely a lack of information about how to awaken this natural human ability? Or do people feel that it is just too late for change of a worldview?

What is Mindfulness?

Everyone possesses this ability and experiences it throughout daily life. Those moments of presence, without any thoughts—perhaps when in the shower, or having the first sip of coffee, or when sun rays touch the skin and warm the body—are moments of mindful awareness. It is in these moments, present only in the here and now, being aware of the breath and sensory perceptions without being attached to thoughts or emotions, that we find mindfulness.

The Essence of Mindfulness in Daily Life

The best arena for practicing mindfulness is in our daily life encounters, where we are in constant communication with the world around us and with ourselves. This is known as informal practice. To effectively apply this skill in our daily interactions, it’s essential to dedicate time to ourselves in the training field of meditation, or formal practice. Meditation techniques can vary, including sitting, lying down, walking, eating, and moving.

Meditation: The Mastering of the Mind, Likened to Taming a Wild Animal

When we cultivate and maintain mindful awareness during our formal meditation, our daily activities can become more mindful. Meditation training is often likened to taming a wild horse or a monkey that jumps from one branch to another, where the horse or monkey represents our unsettled mind. We learn to master, befriend, and understand our minds and bodies through the various formal meditation techniques.

Meditation can also be described as a state of mind behind the use of words, offering a silent and non-linguistic experience of the world. Through meditation, we sharpen our concentration and focus. There are as many ways to describe meditation as there are experiences of it.

Cultivating Mindfulness in Daily Life

Only by nurturing qualities, attitudes, and understanding within ourselves through direct experience can we cultivate them in our daily lives and interactions with others. As the skill of awareness becomes more embodied in our daily activities, its impact grows. This applies whether we’re talking, truly listening to someone, working, finding joy and gratitude in simple activities, or making present, skillful choices that benefit both ourselves and the world around us. It’s not just about short-term gains but, more importantly, about the bigger picture that we learn to see and live in a present, skilled, and mindful way.

Conclusion: The Journey to Mindful Living

Although no change is immediate and guaranteed, the efforts are worth the results. To cultivate the skill of mindfulness profoundly, seek educated teachers and course formats that have been scientifically validated or tested over time. In my search, I eventually became a teacher of the 8-week MBSR intensive course, standing for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, which is a great first step on the path to mindful living. I warmly recommend and teach this both physically and in an online live-stream format that is my offerings. For free meditations, materials, and articles, visit me at www.mindfulflow.life. For more updates and inspiration, follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

 

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Interactive live mindfulness courses
Interactive live mindfulness courses