Friday, January 04, 2013

Explore simple, effortless mindfulness

I've probably written about this before but this is an important element of what I am working with at the moment so I thought I might write about it again. If you go on a mindfulness based stress reduction course then you'll probably be given a raisin and told to eat it mindfully. This means paying attention to each sensation of taste and feeling as you munch the raisin in your mouth. Then you might be told to explore various revelations about the raisin - how it tasted, what thoughts it evoked, and so on. You might be surprised about what you can discover when you wake up and pay attention to what you are doing.

Now, if you explore mindfulness as a practice you will come across people who recommend continuous mindfulness throughout the day. This might seem like a lot effort - after all paying attention to the raisin took a reasonable amount of effort - imagine doing that all day long! Well, luckily, after a while you might notice that the awareness of the sensations of the raisin took no effort - that's a kind of build in feature of being a sensory being. What really took the effort was interrupting the habitual tendency of the mind to do what it does everyday: think, ruminate, judge, plan, scheme. If we tune in to the simple, effortless nature of awareness then something in our habitual processing flips and we become like spectators to the spectacle of our own spectacular existence in this every day world.

How do we achieve this view of the world? That's the tricky part ... One word seems to come up a lot: practise.

No comments: