February 4

Today's quotation:

Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present
experience.  It isn't more complicated than that.  It is opening to
or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as
it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.

Sylvia Boorstein

Today's Meditation:

It's kind of painful to think of just how much time I've spent on this planet without being aware of just how much beauty and magic and love surrounded me.  I've spent tons of time worrying, fretting, focusing on the negative that I've missed much of the positive and much of the beautiful.  It's a shame, but nowadays I do my best to keep focused on my present moments so that I miss as little as possible of the very good things in my life.

Being mindful is choosing to be aware of the present moment, as it is.  Mindfulness is the main reason for which I almost never carry a cell phone with me--I want to be mindful of my present moments, and not have some call rip my attention away from what's going on in my life right here and right now.

Sometimes things aren't completely positive, of course, but in those cases mindfulness is also very helpful.  When we look our problems straight on we can understand them better and deal with them more effectively.  If we lose our mindfulness and start wishing things were different, then we lose the opportunity to learn from adversity and take care of the problems that we have in our lives.

It's so easy to be thinking about that meeting in two hours--and when we do, we miss the nice things around us now.  The meeting will take care of itself as long as we're prepared, so let's focus on the preparation now instead of thinking about the meeting later.  The goal is to be fully immersed in what we're doing at the moment, even if that entails preparing for later of fixing something from the past (e.g., apologizing for something we said yesterday).  Be mindful, be present, and be happy.

Questions to consider:

Why is it so often so difficult to remain focused on the present moment and mindful of all that's around us?

What are some of the things we miss when we allow our minds to go (or to be taken) to different times and places than where and when we are now?

What are some of the benefits of being mindful of the things that are in our lives here and now?

For further thought:

Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present; 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
   
  

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