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Mindfulness and Practicing the Presence


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Steve Hydonus
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« on: Nov 27, 2009 03:55 am »

i have been practicing the presence for many years now. i also find that i have had lessons in mindfulness as it is an important ingredient to the spiritual life. i would like to start a discussion with experiences from members on these two aspects of the spiritual journey.

Jitendra
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« Reply #1 on: Nov 27, 2009 03:23 pm »

Hi steve!
what do you do for that ?
Prabhat Sinha
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« Reply #2 on: Nov 28, 2009 08:23 am »



 
 What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness is a type of meditation that essentially involves focusing on your mind on the present. To be mindful is to be aware of your thoughts and actions in the present, without judging yourself.

Research suggests that mindfulness meditation may improve mood, decrease stress, and boost immune function.

How to Try Mindfulness Meditation
1. Find a quiet and comfortable place. Sit in a chair or on the floor with your head, neck and back straight but not stiff.

2. Try to put aside all thoughts of the past and the future and stay in the present.

3. Become aware of your breathing, focusing on the sensation of air moving in and out of your body as you breathe. Feel your belly rise and fall, the air enter your nostrils and leave your mouth. Pay attention to the way each breath changes and is different.

4. Watch every thought come and go, whether it be a worry, fear, anxiety or hope. When thoughts come up in your mind, don't ignore or suppress them but simply note them, remain calm and use your breathing as an anchor.

5. If you find yourself getting carried away in your thoughts, observe where your mind went off to, without judging, and simply return to your breathing. Remember not to be hard on yourself if this happens.

6. As the time comes to a close, sit for a minute or two, becoming aware of where you are. Get up gradually.

Sources:


Kabat-Zinn J. Mindfulness Meditation: Health benefits of an ancient Buddhist practice. Mind/Body Medicine, eds. Goleman D, Gurin J. New York 1993. Consumer Reports Books, 259-275.
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« Reply #3 on: Nov 28, 2009 04:31 pm »

Thanks steve.
I usually do this a spritual book in hand. read a little and some how stillness comes.
prabhat sinha
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« Reply #4 on: Nov 28, 2009 04:53 pm »

Thank you Steve for the Mindfulness Meditation. It sounds so easy to do, but it is those thoughts that seem to carry me away. I will practice this and focus on the breathing.

Do you think it would be helpful to add a mantra, like God Christ Guru or something, to help focus on the present/ presence or should I just try focusing on the breathing first ?

I remember something from a Buddhist meditation, talking about the thoughts. It was suggested as the thoughts come to mind, you could walk them ( the thoughts ) to the door and leave them outside the room. I thought this was an interesting suggestion, however, it seemed like I spent most of the meditation, walking my thoughts to the door, lol !  Grin

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« Reply #5 on: Nov 28, 2009 06:40 pm »

I was just doing the Mindful Meditation and it is possible, not that I was doubting it was. I could actually focus on the breathing without too much thought interruption. Of course, something must not be right as I always have thoughts drifting in and out of my mind. I wonder where they are at the moment ? And to answer my own question, about adding a mantra in addition to watching the breath, I am thinking that might be too confusing, or distracting to do both. Of course, any other thoughts on this are welcome .........

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« Reply #6 on: Nov 28, 2009 06:50 pm »

Mindfulness in all or activities:


http://www.explorefaith.org/tnh/tnh_pm.html
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« Reply #7 on: Nov 28, 2009 07:01 pm »

Thank you for the article Steve, very interesting. Here are a few of the ideas that caught my attention:

"Let us enjoy our breathing.
Breathing in--I feel I am alive.
Breathing out--I smile to life.
To Life…smiling to life"



"The Buddha offers us very concrete and simple exercises in order to become mindful. The first exercise on mindful breathing is: Breathing in--I know I am breathing in. Breathing out--I know I am breathing out. You can reduce the length of the sentence to one word. In. Out. While you are breathing in, you just recognize that this is your in breath, and you use the word, in. And you are wholly concentrated on your in breath. Nothing else.

You become your in breath. You're not thinking of anything. You're not thinking of the past, of the future, of your projects. You release everything. You just follow your in breath, and you become one with your in breath. And the energy of mindfulness is generated together with the energy of concentration. "
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« Reply #8 on: Nov 28, 2009 08:34 pm »

Yes thanks for writing out points of interest. What was it lesson 9? in the SRF lessons Yogananda speaks of this walking meditation: Breathing in counting to 12. Holding the breath to the count of 12 and then breathing out to the count of 12. Being conscious of the breath while walking. Drawing in extra energy.

Steve
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« Reply #9 on: Nov 28, 2009 11:14 pm »

oh yes, the walking meditation, thanks for the gentle reminder. I would welcome any energy today, extra energy is a bonus. 
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« Reply #10 on: Nov 30, 2009 03:46 am »

the walking breath exercise -- check your lessons for the count... (2-1-1)
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« Reply #11 on: Nov 30, 2009 08:42 am »

Checked lessons; see lesson 5 the count is 12/12/12 See page 3.
Perhaps you were refering to another exercise?

Jai Guru
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« Reply #12 on: Dec 01, 2009 02:05 pm »

Thank you for the article Steve, very interesting. Here are a few of the ideas that caught my attention:

"Let us enjoy our breathing.
Breathing in--I feel I am alive.
Breathing out--I smile to life.
To Life…smiling to life"



"The Buddha offers us very concrete and simple exercises in order to become mindful. The first exercise on mindful breathing is: Breathing in--I know I am breathing in. Breathing out--I know I am breathing out. You can reduce the length of the sentence to one word. In. Out. While you are breathing in, you just recognize that this is your in breath, and you use the word, in. And you are wholly concentrated on your in breath. Nothing else.

You become your in breath. You're not thinking of anything. You're not thinking of the past, of the future, of your projects. You release everything. You just follow your in breath, and you become one with your in breath. And the energy of mindfulness is generated together with the energy of concentration. "


Thanks for your observations Into Blue. i will put it into practice....
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« Reply #13 on: Dec 01, 2009 08:18 pm »


Sources:


Kabat-Zinn J. Mindfulness Meditation: Health benefits of an ancient Buddhist practice. Mind/Body Medicine, eds. Goleman D, Gurin J. New York 1993. Consumer Reports Books, 259-275.


I have two of his books, and those are pretty good tips for mindful meditation. But mindfulness is not just during meditation but used at all times when we're not meditating, just trying to keep aware of our thoughts, actions and not be 'reactive' to everything. I find that it can be very difficult to not simply be reactive because of the nature of the subconscious mind. But the more we meditate, the more we can pull 'forth' whatever garbage we have stored in the subconscious self, and be made aware of it, so we can be mindful and not be 'reactive' people, but we make actions which are more thought out.
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« Reply #14 on: Dec 02, 2009 04:13 am »

... so we can be mindful and not be 'reactive' people, but we make actions which are more thought out.
Yes.  I've observed this "reactive" nature in myself...  seems we often become "emotional" specialists in the way we respond...  I noticed a pattern in the office on how I was reacting to the environment...  (just so happens I changed jobs after 8 years,... even water gets stale if it sits in one place too long)...   Now when I went to the new place I was amazed about how positive the folks were... did not know it could be so... and I vowed then to sieze that spirit and help keep it alive.   Well, so the outer environment changed, but I also changed.  (And that was before my resurgence into meditation and spirit)...   

Now it's much easier to view how I had allowed my consciousness to be swayed by the flucuations of the world (work, traffic, other stuff).  Recently, seems by grace I can cognize the drifting of consciousness into restlessness (like when at work and tackling a challenging situation, to deal with it "calmly active, while remaining actively calm"... and seems the trick is to cognize to "Let It Go" soon after it's "over"... not to let mind keep replaying it...   not set a deep brain/mind groove...    I've found a RESET switch = get to my desk or to the lavatory, or if real bad outside or to the car... stand-up and do an inhaling and exhaling stretch, sit facing into the cube without anyone able to see (a casual observer simply sees me looking at the computer screen), sit erect, take a couple cycles of yogi breaths, drift the eyes back to the spiritual center... and typically the grace flows back upon consciousness...      But seems the key is that anchor practice morning and eve... then the days "reactions" are more quickly cognized, dealt with and reset back to peace...

I heard a monastic talk about this...   they said,  Pray that in that moment of choice (when you may decide how to react)...pray that you may RECOGNIZE that moment of free-will, and be able to put your consciousness with God for guidance on right action...   the key they emphasized was learning to cognize that (often very) TINY moment, and to "slow" that moment down (just enough to recenter)...     that practiced helps me, and again I'm reminded (thanks to my forum friends) to be vigilent in "mindfulness and practice of presence" !

Peace and Love,
namaste

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