Mindful of Forever

Forever is composed of Nows. – Emily Dickinson

When I first heard the word mindfulness, there were references to a process that seem to offer world changing results. But it seemed the process only worked if you could find the right steps and diligently followed the procedure as set out by an “expert”. I’ve always been curious about words and their derivations. In college I learned about etymology – the chronological derivation of a word. The word mindful (purpose, intention, consciously aware) has been around for hundreds of years. But the modern day concepts of “practicing mindfulness” are derived from Zen Buddhism and Hindu Sanskrit texts. So what pared down version of those deeply philosophical beliefs are being packaged as “mindfulness”? Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let’s start with the etymology of the word. Mindfulness is a concept translated from the Buddhist term “sati” – being aware of the true nature of reality; and the Sanskrit word “smriti” – to recollect, that which is remembered”. And mindfulness broadly connects these concepts to meditations forms from Zen and Tibetan Buddhism. And so if we look at the root concepts flowing from the today’s use of the word mindfulness we could generally call this awareness and meditation. The cost for training ranges from free for a very basic understanding to thousands of dollars for intensive courses. With the economies of the world being battered by the pandemic, people around the world have a great need for ways to reduce anxiety and stress. One does not however need an expensive course to become mindful of the present moment. The meeting of two eternities, the past and the future – is precisely the present moment. Thoreau

Some folks resist the word “meditation”. Perhaps they suppose it is too involved, or too esoteric. Maybe they have seen too many negative portrayals of metaphysical hijinks. There are scores of meditation techniques, and basic information is free via the Internet. Being present in the moment has enormous benefits and meditation, using whatever techniques work for you, is proven to have many health benefits. Most methods focus on breathing as a way to begin. Breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Breathe in the fresh air and positive energy; breath out the stress and negativity. Relax the muscles. Release the tension. Do not try to purge all thoughts. Simply let the thoughts drift past without grabbing on to them. Do not set a timer. Don’t have a set goal for each meditative moment. Think of refreshing pause of meditation as the rests in music. As Mozart said, “The music is not in the notes, but in the silence in between.”

Your mind is not silenced or frozen. Your life is rooted in the Present tense. But your anxiety is rooted in the future tense, and your regrets are rooted in the past tense. Neither your anxieties or regrets actually exist – they are phantoms. Negativity – anxiety, fear, guilt, worry… – occupy the mind and causing suffering. By ignoring and resisting the NOW – you are denying reality. The past can create pain the future can create fear – if the present is allowed to continuously slip through our fingers. Past/Future thinking makes us dismiss the finer moments with which life abounds. We do have to think of the future to plan our lives, and remember the past, as memories are important to who we are. But we do not have to dismiss the shining beauty of the present moment. Think – are you in a predicament, or face a complicated dilemma – Here-Now? No. Carry that tiny realization with you, and embrace your life Right Here – Right Now. Do not dwell in the past. Do not dream of the future. Concentrate the mind on the present moment.Buddha

Right now, being mindful of your present reality is critical to your survival. Find a place to wander through nature, or create a pleasant indoor space for your meditations. Become intimately familiar with: the outlines, the contours, the textures, the scents, the light and shadow of your peaceful realm. In this way life’s exquisite details will illuminate the path ahead for you. As your tranquility increases your uneasiness decreases. This is mindfulness. Your mind fills with the positive light of the present. Your body heals. Your peaceful body rejoices. Your spirit soars. Today! “What day is it?” asked Pooh. / “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. / “My favorite day,” said Pooh.”A.A. Milne

Published by everythingisbeachy

Read my books at: amazon.com/author/wheelerce Wheeler was a monthly magazine and weekly newspaper editor during the time he lived in China from 2007-2019. In China he worked for: Education Ministry, Tourism Ministry and Propaganda Ministry. In addition to his magazine and newspaper work, Wheeler edited and contributed to: multiple travel guides; numerous textbooks; several research and translation projects; and advertising copy for countless clients. As a university lecturer, Wheeler developed several university courses including Appreciation of Western Poetry and Introduction to Journalism. He taught Writing, Literature, Culture, Film, and other subjects. His success as a foreign teacher and editor led to Wheeler being awarded Teacher of the Year honors several times at two major universities. In addition to writing, Wheeler was an actor in China. He was on a television show; and the voice for Hangzhou Tourism as well as acting on stage. Wheeler's most unusual role was being the spokesman for a wallpaper adhesive company.

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