Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) was an Austrian physician who wrote "Man's Search For Meaning", considered one of the most influential books of the 20th Century. In it he chronicles his experiences as a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps, and points out the crucial role that choosing one's attitude has in living a life with purpose, no matter the situation:
“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.”
A common definition of mindfulness is that it means "paying attention in a particular way, that is: on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally." Put another way, how you pay attention, and express your intention and attitude, largely define how your conscious awareness "operates" in the moment. Attitude is key, and you may discover that it is the most challenging part of your practice.
Simply drop into noticing your present moment experience, just as it is. Take a look around and see where you are- notice this screen, or the light on the walls of your room. If you are outside, notice the trees or the cars or the sky. Or you might like to simply tune in to the physical sensations of breathing, or sitting, or standing, or lying down- coming to your senses just as they are, however your are experiencing them in this moment. Perhaps you feel some sensations as pleasurable, or others as painful, or perhaps neither pleasant or unpleasant..., or you may be noticing wanting things to be different than they are....
Remember there is no right or wrong way to do this... however you are feeling or whatever you are noticing in this moment is simply your experience...
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, any time, any place, any circumstance, you can drop into mindful awareness... seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling... just directly tuning into a clear channel of the vital energy pulsing in your body/mind. Try doing this for a few seconds or longer without judging any aspect of your experience. As you do, notice when the mind wanders (which it will) to thoughts or ideas about how or what you are doing, or have done, or might do. Remember that this is just what minds do- wander..., then bring your attention back again to simply noticing where your mind is, and what you are actually experiencing in this moment.
In doing this exercise, you may be experiencing why meditation is not what you think, just as you are realizing more about the nature of your mind, which determines your reality.
"Mindfulness in Daily Living"
Friday mornings in Princeville
When: Fridays 830-10AM
Where: Aloha Room at the Princeville Community Center, Kauai
(Free, $5 donation suggested.
for schedule, see https://www.princevillecommunity.com/view/community-center-calendar.aspx
Each session will include meditation, gentle yoga, and discussion about nurturing mindful awareness in the flow of daily living. Our focus is on practical ways of experiencing the mind-body connection in our personal health and wellbeing.
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