- January 2, 2015
- Posted by: Sean Fargo
- Category: Blog
If you like images and quotes about mindfulness, check out my new Pinterest board here.
If you’d like to be invited to post images to the board, please feel free to contact me anytime at [email protected]
For additional quotes on mindfulness, you can also check out this site: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/mindfulness
To cultivate mindfulness in your daily life, here is a useful exercise:
Formal Sitting With Mindfulness Meditation
Outwardly, the formal practice of sitting mindfulness meditation is much like the popular conception of meditation: sitting in silent contemplation. You’ll soon discover that the practice is quite rich and profound, as you turn your awareness to the ever-changing nature of your experience.
By focusing on how the breath, sensations, sounds, thoughts, and emotions are continually forming and then falling away, it allows a glimpse of the transitory nature of all things—and the potential freedom that comes with this awareness. As you simply sit with and acknowledge whatever is with beginner’s mind, without evaluation or judgment and without striving for a particular outcome, you’ll develop greater equanimity, a deeper capacity for letting be, and, with time and practice, greater wisdom and compassion.
Mindfulness of Breathing
Sitting meditation often begins with mindfulness of breathing. By being aware of the shifting quality of the breath as you inhale and exhale, you can learn a great deal about the nature of impermanence and life. Much like the ebb and flow of the ocean’s waves, the breath is constantly in a state of change, coming in and going out. This is a powerful teacher that underscores how everything changes in life and that it’s possible to go with the flow rather than fighting it. It also brings a recognition that the stronger the resistance, the greater the suffering. It’s natural to go after what you want and try to hold on to it and, conversely, to push away what you don’t want.
However, this self-limiting definition often fuels a push-and-pull relationship between what you want and don’t want and can make you feel restless and ill at ease; in short, it leads to suffering.
For example, if you try to resist the process of breathing, you’ll find that discomfort arises almost instantly and can rapidly develop into suffering! Simply being with your breath as you practice mindfulness meditation allows you to experience firsthand the ever-changing quality of your experience and helps you open to going with the flow of life with less grasping and aversion and with a greater sense of space and freedom.