If addictive thinking is robbing you of your peace and tranquility , then practising mindfulness is the perfect remedy. The restless mind exists in
time. Constantly jumping between past and future, the only place the
mind can never be is here now.
When we are attentive to the present moment, our awareness remains anchored here, NOW.
Like a cat watching a mouse hole, we simply observe our inner landscape as it unfolds moment by moment ...without commentary, without judgement, without trying to change anything - simply watching. Everything is accepted as part of what is. In this state of present moment awareness, the peace of the eternal now is experienced.
In unconscious thinking, the mind is unobserved. Thinking is running on autopilot, unnoticed. In the act of becoming aware of thinking, the chain of thought is broken. Suffering and thinking always go together. In the absence of thinking, there is peace.
Focus your attention on the Now and tell me what problem you have in this moment. - Eckhart Tolle
How To Practice Mindfulness?
Like a scientist looking through a microscope, we simply watch what is happening in our awareness ... without labeling, without analyzing, without trying to push anything away.
Everything is directly experienced as it occurs, without passing through the filter of the mind. We observe our preference for pleasant mental states and our aversion towards undesirable experiences. The reaction to the feeling is simply observed.
is watched from a neutral standpoint, as if it were happening to someone
else. What is observed is not related to "me" or "mine". There may be
awareness of restlessness for example. The habit of the mind is to own
it and call it "my restlessness". This tendency can simply be observed.
You can practice with your eyes closed or simply choose to be more mindful as you go about you day. For example, if you are sitting in a traffic jam and become impatient or stressed, take a step back and observe the feeling of impatience with detachment.
Whenever you are aware, observe the mind's commentary about your thoughts and experiences. The more you develop the habit of watching the thinker, the less of a hold the mind has over you.
Who am I?
By objectively watching your inner experience, you will notice two distinct things:
1. the experiences themselves ( thoughts, feelings, emotions, sensations)
2. a witnessing presence which is aware
So, which one am I? In order to answer this I would like you to try the following exercise. It will take about 2 minutes.
Find a place where you will be undisturbed for a couple of
minutes. Close your eyes and begin to watch your mind. As you become
aware of each thought, give it a number. Simply count your thoughts for a
couple of minutes and then open your eyes again.
How was it? How many thoughts did you count? (the average person
would have had about 180 thoughts in that time!) Was it a peaceful
experience? Did you notice your thoughts slowing down through the act of
If you were to do this exercise 100 times, you would discover that the number of thoughts and the content of the thoughts would be different every time. You would also notice that the observing presence - the one that is aware of thoughts - never changes.
Moreover, the observer in you is one and the same as the observer in me. In fact, the observer in you is present in every particle of creation!
In the page how to meditate I go into this in more depth but for now, I would like to offer the following statements to contemplate:
Suffering occurs when we identify ourselves with the thinker - the small "me"
Freedom from suffering happens when we identify with the changeless witnessing presence - the "I"
Mindfulness offers us a choice in where we put our attention. All problems exist in "me" and never in "I".
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