CULTIVATING MINDFULNESS Beginning or Deepening a Personal Meditation…

CULTIVATING MINDFULNESS
Beginning or Deepening a Personal Meditation Practice

Jon Kabat-Zinn

1. The real meditation is how you live your life.

2. In order to live life fully, you have to be present for it.

3. To be present, it helps to purposefully bring awareness to your moments – otherwise you may miss many of them.

4. You do that by paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to whatever is arising inwardly and outwardly.
5. This requires a great deal of kindness toward yourself, which you deserve.

6. It helps to keep in mind that good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, the present moment is the only time any of us are alive. Therefore, it’s the only time to learn, grow, see what is really going on, find some degree of balance, feel and express emotions such as love and appreciation, and do what we need to do to take care of ourselves – in other words, embody our intrinsic strength and beauty and wisdom – even in the face of pain and suffering.

7. So a gentle love affair with the present moment is important.

8. We do that through learning to rest in awareness of what is happening inwardly and outwardly moment by moment by moment – it is more a “being” than a “doing.”

9. Formal and informal meditation practices are specific ways in which you can ground, deepen, and accelerate this process, so it is useful to carve out some time for formal practice on a regular daily basis – maybe waking up fifteen or twenty minutes earlier than you ordinarily would to catch some time for ourselves.

10. We bring awareness to our moments only as best we can.

11. We are not trying to create a special feeling or experience – simply to realize that this moment is already very special – because you are alive and awake in it.

12. This is hard, but well worth it.

13. It takes a lot of practice.

14. Lots of practice

15. But you have a lot of moments – and we can treat each one as a new beginning.

16. So there are always new moments to open up to if we miss some.

17. We do all this with a huge amount of self-compassion.

18. And remember, you are not your thoughts or opinions, your likes or dislikes. They are more like weather patterns in your mind that you can be aware of – like clouds moving across the sky, – and so don’t have to be imprisoned by.

19. Befriending yourself in this way is the adventure of a lifetime, and hugely empowering.

20. Try it for a few weeks – it grows on you.

From Cultivating Mindfulness (PDF) by Jon Kabat-Zinn, a helpful guide offered at the site Mindfulness CDs, with links to CDs for purchase based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction clinic series and other books from Kabat-Zinn, links to talks for free download, recent articles, etc.

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I am an amateur and intend to remain…

I am an amateur and intend to remain one my whole life long. I attribute to photography the task of recording the real nature of things, their interior, their life. The photographer’s art is a continuous discovery which requires patience and time. A photograph draws its beauty from the truth with which it’s marked. For this very reason I refuse all the tricks of the trade and professional virtuosity which could make me betray my career. As soon as I find a subject which interests me, I leave it to the lens to record it truthfully. Look at the reporters and at the amateur photographer ! They both have only one goal; to record a memory or a document. And that is pure photography.

-André Kertész

The Conundrum Everything you want must be searched…

The Conundrum

Everything you want
must be searched for –
except the Friend.
If you don’t find Him
you’ll never be able to start to even look.
Yes, you can be sure:
You are not Him — unless
you can remove yourself
from between yourself and Him –
in which case you are Him.

~ Hakim Sanai (1044? – 1150?), from: The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry, Trans. Peter Wilson & Nasrollah Pourjavady

Eckhart Tolle See also Goodreads http www goodreads…

Eckhart Tolle (See also Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/4493.Eckhart_Tolle)

1- To end the misery that has afflicted the human condition for thousands of years, you have to start with yourself and take responsibility for you inner state at any given moment. That means now.

2- For what you do to others, you do to yourself.

3- Instead of asking “what do I want from life?,” a more powerful question is, “what does life want from me?”

4- If there were nothing but thought in you, you wouldn’t even know you are thinking. You would be like a dreamer who doesn’t know he is dreaming. When you know you are dreaming, you are awake within the dream.

5- Nothing ever happened in the past that can prevent you from being present now; and if the past cannot prevent you from being present now, what power does it have?

6- Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.

7- You cannot be both unhappy and fully present in the Now.

8- Whenever an answer, a solution, or a creative idea is needed, stop thinking for a moment by focusing attention on your inner energy field. … When you resume thinking, it will be fresh and creative.

9- All the things that truly matter — beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace — arise from beyond the mind.

10- If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me

11- Thinking and consciousness are not synonymous. Thinking is only a small aspect of consciousness. Thought cannot exist without consciousness, but consciousness does not need thought.

12- Forget about your life situation and pay attention to your life. Your life situation exists in time. Your life is now. Your life situation is mind-stuff. Your life is real.

13- Not all thinking and all emotion are of the ego. They turn into ego only when you identify with them and they take you over completely, that is to say, when they become “I.”

14- Space has no “existence.” “To exist” literally means “to stand out.” You cannot understand space because it doesn’t stand out. Although in itself it has no existence, it enables everything else to exist. Silence has no existence either, nor does the Unmanifested.

15- Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? what could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.

16- Why does the mind habitually deny or resist the Now? Because it cannot function and remain in control without time, which is past and future, so it perceives the timeless Now as threatening. Time and mind are in fact inseparable.

17- The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive. To put it more accurately, it is not so much that you use your mind wrongly — you usually don’t use it at all. It uses you. This is the disease. You believe that you are your mind. This is the delusion. The instrument has taken you over.

18- What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.

19- “How” is always more important that “what.” See if you can give much more attention to the doing than to the result that you want to achieve through it.

20- The secret of life is to “die before you die” — and find that there is no death.

“There is a clear link between the magnitude…

“There is a clear link between the magnitude of expenditure cutbacks and increases in social unrest. With every additional percentage point of GDP in spending cuts, the risk of unrest increases.”
Jacopo Ponticelli, Hans-Joachim Voth

” According to Buddhism knowledge is the greatest…

” According to Buddhism, knowledge is the greatest obstacle to awakening. If we are trapped by our knowledge we will not have the possibility of going beyond it and realizing awakening. When we believe something to be the absolute truth and cling to it, we cannot be open to new ideas. Even if truth itself is knocking at our door, we will not let it in. The Zen student must strive to be free of attachments to knowledge and be open so that truth may enter. The teacher must also help in these efforts. Zen master Lin Chi once said: “If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha. If you meet the Patriarch, kill the Patriarch”. For one who only has devotion, this declaration is terribly confusing. But its effect depends on the mentality and capacity of the one who hears. If the student is strong, she will have the capacity to liberate herself from all authority and realize ultimate reality in herself. Truth is not a concept. If we cling to our concepts, we lose reality. That is why it is necessary to “kill” our concepts so that reality can reveal itself. To kill the Buddha is the only way to see the Buddha. Any concept we have of the Buddha can impede us from seeing the Buddha in person”