Basic Mindfulness Part 2: Living in a Mindful Way

Being Mindful has been a question for me. After my three day Mindfulness retreat, I am more Mindful about the things I have not been mindful about. What the heck does that mean…??? Well, read a bit further.

I learned at the retreat what I think I already knew but had not learned how this feels or how to incorporate being more mindful into my habit driven lifestyle. No surprise, the key to being more mindful is to be aware and “present” by paying attention to your breath. Again no surprise, I learned that being more mindful works better when I focus on only one thing at a time. For example, drive focused without other distractions. (More examples to follow.) This focusing on one thing at a time is kind of challenging in our 24/7, multi-tasking world, but it certainly makes sense.

We practiced slower walking and breathing, awareness and appreciation of nature, and more meditations. The first two key ingredients to being more mindful (with 10 listed) where 1. to be aware of myself and my environment and 2. was to view each activity in your day with “Beginners Mind” and the feeling of wonderment. I liked these first two a lot. In fact, I really enjoyed all 10 ingredients in the book we used as a text but found number 6 a bit more challenging for me to fully appreciate and understand, let alone to practice. Number 6 was to live in “Equanimity.” I can barely spell Equanimity let alone know how to practice it. After consultation with my retreat group, its leader Chau Yoder (who is amazing) and my special Guru spiritual consultant, Paula Forget, I believe I am much closer to knowing what this is all about.

Equanimity is a very important, but a challenging (for me,) part of the Mindfulness life. This term refers to being able to look at and appreciate experiences in your life without getting caught in the “drama” of the experience. Paula Forget suggested that I look at each experience from the higher perspective of a “spiritual being” caught in a mortal body. As I look from a higher perspective, I may not “judge” the event, individual or experience but just see, perhaps feel it, as a neutral activity that can be curious and interesting. When I am successful, I may even feel empathy and appreciation for the circumstances which have lead to this experience and more fully understand my “lesson” or “challenge” from my participation. Even if this lesson is painful, which as a human I will feel, I can still feel appreciation for what I can learn from this challenge on my pilgrimage through life. This detachment does NOT mean you do not care or feel the physical or emotional pain. It means that you are not locked up without finding the higher perspective regarding how to celebrate (?) this difficult challenge.

One more example and an exercise you can attempt… Hold a tangerine. Look at it fully. Appreciate the work of people who delivered this fruit to you and the forces of nature which allowed this fruit to grow. Feel the tangerine. Scratch the peel and smell the tangerine. Slowly and carefully peel the tangerine, perhaps keeping the peel in one piece. Pull the first section out slowly and place this in your mouth. Breathe! Feel the tangerine section in your mouth. Move it around with your tongue. Press it against your teeth or slowly take a bite. Breathe! Taste the sweetness. Appreciate the sun and forces which developed the sugar of this fruit. Slowly swallow the first section and then slowly repeat this for as much of this tangerine as you wish. If you were not distracted and were focused upon this exercise, attempt this at your next meal… Try to not speak for 10 minutes while you eat… Be mindful. Breathe slowly. Appreciate.

Full List of 10 Qualities of Mindfulness are:
These are Pages 18-20 of Laurie Cameron’s book: “The Mindful Day, Practical Ways to Find Focus, Calm and Joy From Morning to Evening.”

1. Awareness
2. Beginners Mind
3. Acceptance
4. Insight
5. Impermanence (Life is temporary and so are all the challenges…)
6. Equanimity
7. Interconnection
8. Compassion
9. Gratitude
10. Joy

Special thanks to Chau Yoder for these helpful acronyms:

Consider C.A.R.E. when dealing with life’s experiences
C. Compassion
A. Appreciation
R. Respect
E. Equanimity

To Assist you with this, try P.B.S.
P. Pause
B. Breathe
S. Smile

One more tip for dealing with a situation which “Triggers” you. R.A.I.N.
R. Recognize
A. Allow
I. Investigate with Kindness
N. Nurture (Yourself and the Appreciation of this Challenge)

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Share Your Gratitude Every Chance You Get!

Gratitude and Acknowledgement should NOT be your secret! Everyone needs and deserves to be thanked and to feel appreciated. In meditation this morning, I was told to share Gratitude. Not just to people and experiences who have been nice to me but to all the Life-force in the Universe. Never miss the chance to say “Thank You” and appreciate the blessings you behold.

If you allow yourself to be fully present, acknowledging every experience you encounter becomes your lesson. The world will be a better place, for ALL of us, when you demonstrate your gratitude. The art of appreciation is a nearly lost skill. We do send “Thank You” cards hardly ever. (AND, doesn’t if feel great to get a card of appreciation.) A shallow “thanks” is still better than none at all. A focused look into someone’s eyes as you share a sincere acknowledgement means so much!

In the age of Social Media and superficial communication, we can still reach deep into our hearts and find the best ways to reach out and to let a person know that they are special and that you appreciate the interaction with them that has occurred. It takes so little effort and can mean so much. If nothing else, “Pay it Forward” and show you “CARE!” Let’s start a chain reaction of Gratitude, acceptance, and appreciation which can light up our world!

YOU are a Blessing! You are Perfect! The world needs you and your amazing life! Go out and shine brightly on all the lifeforms you bump into… The Divine Spirit burns brightly within you and YOU are much greater than you can ever imagine!

If gratitude is important and if you are READY for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

The Greatest Gift You Can Give

Are you into gift giving? Are you ready to discover the secret of an amazing gift idea? Even if you are excellent at picking out the “right” gift or you are an exceptional crafts-person who creates the most awesome artistic once-in-lifetime creations, you can learn how to make other people the happiest by learning the lesson of this blog. Now are you ready to listen???

Put your wallet away. Clean your crafts’ soot off your hands. Look lovingly and with grateful humility into your most cherished friend/relative’s eyes and say “Thank You” (from your heart) when they OFFER YOU their gift. The gift you receive could be expensive. It could inexpensive but all that they could afford. It could be the gift of a service rendered. It could be a gift of expressed love or care. YOU give the gift of receiving this special gift and allow them to feel the pleasure of YOUR appreciation. Yes, it is difficult for many of us to receive a gift! It can be difficult to be “Present” and accept the gesture without piling on your material expression of…. “giftiness” (made up word.)

Allow your gift presenter her special moment of loving appreciation and know the love in their thoughtfulness.

Especially, if you are sick or dying, allow your friends and loved ones to give generously of their love for you. Do not play the victim, just accept their assistance and make them a part of your challenging experience. They will remember these moments when they were able, and allowed, to perform a “mitzvah” (Jewish for: a good deed.)

If you have been the “Giver” and not allowed others the gift of giving to you, these receivers may feel guilty and in your debt. You feel good but they have not had the chance to even the score and, believe me, if they are good people, they do not want a one way gifting relationship. They want a chance to be there for you!

So remember the blessing of being open to receiving a heartfelt gesture. Embrace it with sincerity. Bask in the bright light they radiate in your appreciation of their efforts. AND, do not take any moment of kindness and generosity for granted.

Share love. Smile and acknowledge, without judgement, those who cross your path… We are all pilgrims on a journey toward consciousness and toward remembering the divine spirit which dwells in each of us.

Blessings to you!

Connecting with a community of people seeking to remember their divine… Masters of the Journey