Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just have to remember to do it.” Sharon Salzberg
Mindfulness is the practice of being present. To be present in the moment is to be fully embodied, to synchronize the body and mind gives us the ability to engage more fully with life. To practice mindfulness or presence is to have a single pointed focus. Bringing your attention to the physical sensations or somatic experience in the body is one way to practice mindfulness. More specifically the breath is a vehicle for presence, when attention is placed on the inhale and exhale you return to the present moment by feeling the body.
There are many factors that draw us out of the now, emotions and thoughts are quite alluring as is physical pain. When tension is present in the body or mind we tend to tell ourselves stories about what it means. All of these patterns of thinking takes us away from the here and now. The practice of mindfulness has often been compared to flying a plane. A pilot will tell you that 80% of the time the aircraft is off course, so the pilot is actually bringing it back into alignment over and over again. This is what we as humans are doing when we get lost in thought. By practicing mindfulness awareness we learn to come back to the present moment so when we are out there in the world, and especially when strong emotions or stress enter the picture we are more capable of relaxing into what is, going with the flow and less likely to feel paralyzed and stuck. What mindfulness isn’t is a form of mind control, it’s a way to incorporate a healthy discipline that keeps the ship sailing with ease to the desired destination of peace and happiness.
After all it is an inside job so when you learn to direct your awareness inward you begin to find refuge in the present moment and that is where peace resides. It’s important to be gentle with yourself when you being to practice mindfulness and take it easy. There are two wings or tenets of mindfulness the first being awareness and the second being compassion. To be fully present is to let go of judgement and simple be with what is in the moment.