Mindfulness means paying attention to the present moment. It means to continuously present with the present experience. Mindfulness also means consciously focusing on our awareness.
For example, if you are new at meditation, you find it difficult to sit and focus your attention to the present moment. Often you catch your mind wondering. When that happens, you gently bring your attention back to your breath in a nonjudgmental way.
Practicing mindfulness can be applied in our everyday life. Try eating a fruits and see how your mind wanders. You may be thinking of how sweet, how crunchy or soft, how juicy the fruit is. However at the same time, you may think of so many other things at the same time. You may be talking to someone, sitting and watching TV, listening to music, reading a book or studying. And you may even be taking care of a baby or thinking of your parents who live far away. Some of us are quick to say that we CAN multi-task and manage to do them well.
Now try mindfulness. Eat your fruits with conscious attention and with a purpose of experiencing it fully.
Here is a simplified step to Mindfulness Meditation. We will practice in class with grapes.
1. We will begin with pre-meditation body relaxation exercise
2. Come to a comfortable sitting position or lying on your side
3. Bring your attention to your breath
4. Look at the grapes
5. Observe the color, size, the texture
6. Imagine the location where the fruits were grown
7. Imagine how the grapes were picked
8. Imagine the picker's face
9. Imagine how the grapes were harvested
10. Imagine how the grapes were processed, selected and washed
11. Imagine how the grapes were packed and labeled
12. Imagine how the grapes were shipped
13. Imagine how the grapes were finally delivered to the supermarket
14. Imagine how the grapes were displayed in the supermarket
15. Imagine how the grapes were purchased
16. Imagine how the grapes were brought home, washed
17. Look at the grapes that are placed in front of you
18. Now pop a grape in your mouth
19. Feel the texture of its skin
20. Feel the texture of its meat
21. Taste and enjoy the sweetness
Mindfulness is also nonjudgmental, even though some experience may be pleasant or unpleasant, we maintain, equanimity, stillness and balance of mind. Mindfulness, according to the teaching of the Buddha holds a great importance in the path of enlightenment.
Sat Nam - Cathi
"Whatever forms of meditation you practice, the most important point is to apply mindfulness continuously, and make a sustained effort. It is unrealistic to expect results from meditation within a short period of time. What is required is continuous sustained effort.” - Dalai Lama