Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to being present. There is no "performance." There is just this moment. We are not trying to improve or to get anywhere else. We are not even running after special insights or visions. Nor are we forcing ourselves to be non-judgmental, calm, or relaxed. And we are certainly not promoting self-consciousness or indulging in self-preoccupation. Rather, we are simply inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here and right now. - Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness is best defined as an awareness that arises within when we:
The formal practice of mindfulness is mediation.
The informal practice is how we interact with life mindfully (with greater equanimity).
One of the most useful programs I adopted was MBSR. I was fortunate to learn from a true master of MBSR who expanded the teaching far beyond just practical MBSR.
Meaningful moments can't be captured, only experienced.
I have spent too much of my life trying to capture experiences. And in doing so, missed the moment... Or at least didn't experience it as fully as I could have.
What robs us of the magic in every moment? Living in the thoughts of the past or future. Every notice how our thoughts can take us away from the 'now'?
It's about discovering the hidden sub-meanings by paying closer attention.
The spirit of mindfulness is to practice for its own sake and just take each moment as it comes, pleasant, unpleasant, good, bad or ugly, and the work with that. With this attitude everyday living becomes practice, and life itself becomes your meditation teacher and your guide. Practice means that you commit fully to being present in each moment. Practice simply means inviting yourself to embody calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here, right now, in this moment, as best you can.
The practice of yoga. A definition of practice. It is to take each pose as it comes and work with it - at times it will feel good, other times it won't. The 'right' practice is right for you and no one else. Teachers may make an effort to correct you to prevent you from hurting yourself, but the best teachers are simply gentle guides. To practice yoga means to simply commit yourself fully to being present in the moment. Not to judge yourself, judge others, to simply find your edge in that moment. The best yoga classes for me result from having no expectation. Perhaps this is the secret to the best life off the mat. That is rather than cling to an expectation of how we think it ought to be, we just show up, be fully present, and go to our edge. The beauty of finding your edge is that it pushes your edge further each time you push it. I like the image of an individual pushing their arms through a ballon.
This may reveal one of the true essence of a live well lived... It's the life we realize has edge because we have discovered that all our boundaries were invited in our mind, in thought. Yes, those thoughts we thought would get us farther in life rather held us back.
Whether it be pleasant, unpleasant, good or bad.
Notes from The Mindfulness Edge by Tenney/Gard
How to rewire your brain for leadership, personal excellence, without adding to your schedule.
The main motivations of all action
We are essentially programs that react to situations based on how we've been programmed to react. How our program reacts to events are called decisions. Decisions are programmed responses and a combination of genetics and conditioning. The life experiences we've had up to this moment impact our decisions.
While many of our programs are helpful, many are not. For the most part, we are unaware they are even running. It's often those who believe they are free from habitual programs that are most trapped by them.
Looking at increasing the value of partnerships in my life, I may to take a closer look at a defect in my program. I recognize that being part of a family with 3 brothers and a highly competitive father may be an issue I need to debug. Why do I find it difficult to feel genuine empathy for the accomplishments of others? Is this causing me to surround myself with people who are level below me just so I can feel better about myself? I don't feel good about myself when I'm surrounded by those who are a level up, so am I unconsciously pushing those people away?
This is a real condition! From wikipedia:
The default mode network is most commonly shown to be active when a person is not focused on the outside world and the brain is at wakeful rest, such as during daydreaming and mind-wandering. But it is also active when the individual is thinking about others, thinking about themselves, remembering the past, and planning for the future. The network activates "by default" when a person is not involved in a task. Though the DMN was originally noticed to be deactivated in certain goal-oriented tasks and is sometimes referred to as the task-negative network, it can be active in other goal-oriented tasks such as social working memory or autobiographical tasks. The DMN has been shown to be negatively correlated with other networks in the brain such as attention networks.