There are a lot of words that we could use when talking about being mindful. In its essence mindfulness is being aware in the present moment. Much of the time our attention is invested in our passions about the past. This is because our process of growth has given a foot hold on those memories. Our minds give a sense of present reality to feelings that you have at this time about our past and tries to speculate about our futures. Our minds are constantly drifting in and out of awareness.
For example, for those of us who are old enough to remember when most clocks ticked you would notice the sound. If you apply yourself to something like reading a book your attention becomes captivated by the content. When we stop reading we begin to notice things around us and we notice again the sound of the clock. Our reality is closely tied to what we are aware of. There is a part of you that notices everything. It does not judge and does not get distracted. It is the observer.
Deepak Chopra, (www.deepakchopra.com) who teaches mindfulness as a part of a process of spiritual, physical and mental health suggests that we can step back and look at ourselves in a mindful manner. This ability to be mindful comes when we understand ourselves as one person in several states. There is part of us that observes, there is that part of ourselves that is invested in the process observing, and the part that evaluates what we observe. The more we identify with the part that observes, impartially without getting caught up, the more we begin to have the ability to be mindful of our lives.
While there are many methods for fostering mindful awareness, most are comprised of practices that quiet the mind. A quiet mind helps us to not get swept away. A quiet mind helps us identify less with the experience and more with the one that experiences. As we have a quiet mind we can begin to watch our thoughts and feelings. As we watch our thoughts and feelings we develop the ability to choose our reactions to what we feel, think and see in the world.
The Buddhists have a saying, “There are many paths up the mountain” or some time it is put as, “There are many paths to God”. In mindfulness training, you may find that certain paths fit your needs better than others. For some people meditation methods such as watching yourself breathe work to foster a “present awareness”. Others may find a simple stroll does the trick. Maybe a good bath puts you in that place where you can watch everything in the present moment. It really does not matter which path, school or technique you choose if they work for you they will all lead to the same place.
This is a place of personal empowerment and peace. One who is mindful has the power to do anything they want. We only have this moment. Yesterday is just merely a memory and tomorrow a dream. Right now at this moment, with the power of mindfulness behind you, your life can be forever changed.