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Mindfullness & Selflessness

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Constance:
I mentioned in other threads that I'm a bit slow on the uptake. So, this might seem elementary to others here.

I've been having difficulty being mindfull. It seems that there's so much to remember with regards to mindfullness. Is it that I'm too selfish to be truly mindfull? Is selflessness a prerequisite for mindfullness?

lady amarant:
Good question. I suppose it depends on how you define mindfulness. I make it a habit of being aware of everything around me. My eyes are constantly moving, I consciously adjust my balance to everything, and gradually, having gotten into the habit of that, it has become easier to watch my thoughts and feelings as well. I also constantly play the game of trying to project actions ahead in chains of cause and effect, both my own actions and those I observe. It becomes a habit very quickly, and it has made me much more careful about what I say and do because you soon realise that the smallest actions can have huge knock-on effects.

As to mindfulness as in living in the moment though - mindful eating, walking etc. I actually find that remarkably hard.;)

VeryGnawty:

--- Quote ---It seems that there's so much to remember with regards to mindfullness.
--- End quote ---

You have it backwards.  It is harder to remember how to not be mindfull.

Mindfullness is being present in the moment, in understanding the flow of life.  You must remember nothing, because it is not necessary to focus on time or events.  All that is necessary is to sit still the mind and take in the information around you.

It's the hectic Western lifestyle that you have to "remember" stuff and "work" for things.  If you find attending the moment difficult, I would say you aren't really attending the moment.  Go meditate.  My prediction is that you'll find your brain buzzing with all sorts of non-mindfull thoughts which are obstructing your focus.

Being mindfull is actually the easiest thing you could possibly do.

Constance:
If "Being mindfull is actually the easiest thing you could possibly do," I must really be train-wrecking this Zen thing.

Oh, well, as Suzuki Roshi said, life is "one continuous mistake" and that's how we learn and practice.

VeryGnawty:

--- Quote from: Shades O'Grey on April 17, 2008, 10:49:16 am ---If "Being mindfull is actually the easiest thing you could possibly do," I must really be train-wrecking this Zen thing.
--- End quote ---

Most people do.

It takes some people twenty years to learn that it doesn't take twenty years to sit still.  For some people, it takes a lifetime.  That's why we practice  :D

It's actually quite simple.  It only seems difficult because people don't know how to think properly.  Life isn't nearly as complicated as people make it out to be. We've just been taught inefficient ways of being.  Zen is just a method of eliminating this foolishness, and focusing on what really matters.


--- Quote ---Is selflessness a prerequisite for mindfullness?
--- End quote ---

Not really.  Compassion is a different lesson than being mindfull.  Mindfullness, in its essence, is merely focusing on what is important at the time.  For example, when I'm eating dinner I shouldn't be thinking about taxes.  This isn't to say that I can't do so, but rather that I shouldn't feel obligated or otherwise necessitated to think about taxes when I am doing anything other than paying taxes.

The reason we screw everything up is because we think about paying taxes while eating dinner, we think about going to the park while at the job, and we think about making dinner while we are at the park.

When we are focused only on the task at hand, we can understand it for what it is.  Zen is about focusing upon the self, and understanding why you do the things you do.

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