On Mindfulness

  • I began learning to write and read by learning alphabet. So did Shakespeare. I am not going to compare his skill of writing to mine, but it is obvious that we both started from A, B, C... If it is knitting, cooking or composing music one has to start from a very simple, basic level to be able to go further, to do more advanced things if one chooses so. One has to learn an alphabet first.

    I believe that the same applies to mindfulness and meditation. And I know that it is a skill that can be learned and improved. Meditation is not some god given state of existence, it is a state of awareness that can be taught, and learned, and practiced and developed if one wants to do it, if one wants to learn it. There is no mystery there, but there is need for practice and information how to do it.

    So what is an alphabet of meditation? It is concentration on breathing for some, it is chanting for others. For me, it is a conscious act of moving attention from thinking to sensing and feeling, recognizing what your kinesthetic sense of body is signaling to you without any attempt of describing, changing, correcting or judging it. It all starts there. Redirection of attention is work, it is active and doing it can take an effort. It gets easier with practice until keeping attention on an experience exclusively, becomes not only easy but pleasant and calming. (It can be an experience of breathing or chanting) This act will reconnect you to your body and to the here and now. It will open and enlarge the territory of your awareness. That’s the beginning. Starting from there can take you wherever you want to go.

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